British Minister of Digital Technology, Culture, Media and Sports Oliver Dowden confirmed the country’s refusal to use the equipment of Chinese company Huawei in the national communications infrastructure. This was reported by the Express on Tuesday, July 14.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed with other participants in the meeting of the National Security Council, taking into account the recommendations of the National Centre for Cyber Security, the implications for British business, as well as geostrategic considerations. The authorities suggest that the equipment may be used by China for espionage or to destroy Britain’s national infrastructure.
“The best way to secure our networks is for operators not to use new Huawei equipment to deploy future 5G networks in the UK. Thus, as of the end of this year, UK operators are prohibited from purchasing any 5G equipment from Huawei, and once the Telecommunications Security Bill is passed, it will become illegal,” Dowden said.
He specified that the bill will be adopted by the end of 2020. By that time Great Britain will completely replace all Huawei equipment in British 5G networks.
The Daily Telegraph reported on the intention of the country’s authorities to refuse using Huawei equipment earlier the same day.
In January, the UK government, despite warnings from the U.S., agreed to allow Huawei to deploy 5G networks in the kingdom at a limited level of no more than 35%.
U.S. President Donald Trump had previously warned the British leadership that cooperation with Huawei threatens the country’s security. The U.S. side pointed out that the use of Chinese corporation equipment in the British infrastructure may hinder the exchange of information through the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
In the United States itself, charges have been brought against Huawei, its subsidiaries, and Meng Wangzhou, the company’s CFO, on 23 counts, including industrial espionage and violation of American sanctions against Iran. Washington, which is engaged in trade war with Beijing, calls on its allies to give up Huawei equipment.
In May 2019, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted Huawei. The companies were forbidden to buy technologies and components from U.S. manufacturers and conduct business with U.S. business without the permission of Washington.