UK's Final Decision on Huawei's 5G Involvement is Coloured by US Politics Once Again

By Shabana Arif on at

The never-ending saga of Huawei's involvement in the UK's 5G infrastructure continues as the US piles on the pressure.

After a back and forth that has seen the UK consider allowing Huawei to play a part in its 5G future, and just as quickly veer in the other direction, the US is once again trying to persuade the government that the Chinese company is a security threat and should be ousted from our 5G plans.

The UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, met with US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, for a day of talks that was expected to include yet another pitch for the cessation of dealings with Huawei. The US has previously intimated that using Huawei kit could negatively effect US/UK relations on the intelligence sharing front, with both parties currently being a part of 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.

At last year's NATO summit, Boris Johnson said he didn't want the UK "to be hostile to investment from overseas" but didn't want to "prejudice our vital national security interests" or our ability to cooperate with other Five Eyes security partners," adding that those factors would be "the key criterion" in the final decision on Huawei.

Tweeting about his meeting, Raab didn't elaborate much, but said that his talks with Pompeo "focused on Iran and a range of bilateral issues," while a government spokesperson has stated that “the security and resilience of the UK’s telecoms networks is of paramount importance," reiterating that it will continue "to consider its position on high-risk vendors and a decision will be made in due course.”

The final decision is expected to b e made before the end of the month. [TechRadar]