In a possible precursor to future, post-Brexit trade deals with the US, the UK – having made an apparent stand against Trump’s call for a ban on Chinese tech companies – now appears to be falling in step with Washington’s wishes.
At the recent Nato leaders’ meeting, which took place in Watford, UK, Boris suggested that allowing Huawei to continue its operations in the UK might “prejudice” the Five Eyes intelligence relationship.
“I don’t want this country to be hostile to investment from overseas. On the other hand, we cannot prejudice our vital national security interests nor can we prejudice our ability to cooperate with other Five Eyes security partners. That will be the key criterion that informs our decision about Huawei.” Johnson said when asked about his decision.
Nato leaders' meeting
Boris Johnson made these comments at the Nato leaders’ meeting in Watford. And although he avoided saying Donald Trump’s name, the President's shadow loomed large; and alongside security concerns, Johnson could also be thinking ahead to future trade deals with the US. And a White House spokesman said that the leaders discussed “the importance of both nations working together to ensure the security of our telecommunication networks and guard against untrusted providers.”
Trump then stressed that Huawei was a “security risk, a security danger”, and said that no other countries he had spoken to were planning to go ahead with it. He also reiterated – for those in any doubt – that the world is a big place, with a lot of countries.
“I spoke to Italy, they look like they are not going to go forward with that. We spoke to other countries and they are not going to go forward,” Trump said. “Everybody I have spoken to is not going forward, but how many countries can I speak to? Am I going to call up and speak to the whole world? We are building it, we have started, but we are not using Huawei.”