Former Brexit minister David Davis launched a blistering attack on Huawei on Sunday, calling for the UK’s Huawei decision – that will allow the Chinese telecom to be involved in 5G networks – to be overturned. He went on to say that it would be the worst intelligence move since MI6 recruited double agent Kim Philby.
This comes after Donald Trump also disagreed with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to give Huawei a “limited role” in the UK’s 5G networks.
Traffic jams to mass fatalities
Conservative MPs are asking for a “meaningful debate” in Parliament on Huawei’s involvement in 5G. And Mr Davis pulled no punches in an interview on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, warning that Huawei’s involvement could “cause mayhem, seizing control of, say, dams, air traffic control and electricity generators”, or even bring down internet access. He warned the damage could range from traffic jams to "mass fatalities”.
Whilst this may sound far-fetched, Davis insisted that it was a widely held view.
“It’s difficult to understand why the government has done this,” he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr. “Because if you look, not just the Americans, the Americans are cross with us, but so are the Australians.
“We’re handing the keys to large parts of the country over to China. 5G in the future is going to be everything. It’s going to be from traffic light controls to your medical records. From your telephone and your video, right through to the operation of the infrastructures, water and electricity. Now that is going to be completely throughout our society.”
Mr Davis called on Johnson to change his mind on the decision, warning that people may “look back and say that was the worst decision a British Prime Minister made”.
On top of this, Mick Mulvaney, White House chief of staff, went to Downing Street earlier this month to warn that Huawei’s involvement would have a “direct and dramatic impact” US security relations with the UK.
Whilst Huawei is a private company, Chinese laws do state that firms could be forced to provide information. This is one of the main reasons why many are reluctant to let Huawei in to their 5G networks.