MI5 Boss Says US-UK Spy Relations Will Continue as Normal if Britain Doesn't Banish Huawei

By Shabana Arif on at

While we wait on a final decision about Huawei's involvement in the UK's 5G infrastructure, the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, says it shouldn't affect the relationship between the US and the UK.

Bold words when the US seems to have been turning the screws for a while, implying that actually, yes, intelligence sharing will be affected between the two countries if Huawei isn't booted out. This has lead to a not-insignificant amount of flip-flopping on the topic, with the general consensus being that in an ideal world, the UK would have its own alternative. Parker echoed the sentiment himself, saying:

Perhaps the thing that needs more focus and more discussion is how do we get to a future where there’s a wider range of competition and a wider range of sovereign choices than defaulting to a yes or no about Chinese technology.

However, what with that not being the reality we live in, he commented that there's “no reason today to think that” the intelligence sharing relationship between will be impacted, despite the US' veiled threats to the contrary.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems to be worried by the prospect, saying he doesn't want "to be hostile to investment from overseas" or "prejudice our vital national security interests." The country's place in the Five Eyes alliance - an international intelligence agency made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK to share surveillance and resources - is also a consideration that contributes to "the key criterion" in the final decision on Huawei.

Parker seems to think that the UK-US relationship is “very close and trusted," adding, "it is, of course, of great importance to us. And, I dare say, to the US too, though that’s for them to say. It is a two-way street.”

Either way, a decision on the matter is expected by the end of the month. [The Guardian]