Pressure mounts on UK before Huawei decision

1 min read

The United States is said to be making a final pitch to Britain ahead of its decision as to whether it will be looking to upgrade it telecoms network using Huawei equipment.

Reports by Reuters suggest that the US is threatening to cut intelligence-sharing ties, in what would be a major blow for the new Johnson administration.

Britain is set to make a final decision on how to deploy Huawei equipment in its future 5G networks at the end of the month.

The US has alleged that Huawei equipment could be used for Chinese state spying, while industry has warned that banning the firm could cost billions of pounds.

The world’s largest supplier of networking equipment, Huawei has repeatedly denied the US allegations.

The British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is expected to come under pressure over Huawei at a meeting in Washington with his US opposite number, Mike Pompeo and ahead of the UK's decision the US had been looking to add further pressure by sending a delegation, including senior security advisers, to the meet with UK officials. This was cancelled at the last moment.

The United States also passed legislation that included a provision bolstering threats to restrict intelligence-sharing with allies that use Huawei equipment in a move described as ‘cocking the pistol’.

Britain has become a major battleground over Huawei and a final decision has yet to be made public.

Now a leading US senator, Tom Cotton, is looking at additional legislation that would “significantly restrict” intelligence-sharing with countries that use Huawei equipment in their 5G networks.

Cocked? The pistol looks ready to be fired!