The US has already expressed its opposition to Huawei being used in the UK’s 5G networks, labelling it a security risk. But on a recent diplomatic visit to the UK it is believed that U.S. officials have upped the ante, telling British ministers that giving access to the Chinese tech giant would be “nothing short of madness”.
Britain is yet to make a decision as to whether Huawei will be involved with the country’s 5G network. But it appears that the U.S. government isn’t confident that the UK will follow its lead in banning Huawei, with officials being dispatched to the UK this week to present British ministers with “new technical evidence” on the risks regarding Huawei.
There are growing rumours that Boris Johnson will decide to allow Huawei equipment to be used in “non-core” parts of the 5G network. A decision which is expected to be made by the end of this month.
However, U.S. officials have reiterated previous warnings to the UK, saying that allowing Huawei into its 5G networks "would be like putting Russia in charge of anti-doping of world athletes”.
Just days ago, the head of MI5 said that he had no reason to think that the UK’s relationship with the US would be damaged if Huawei were allowed. However, the bold statements by US officials made this week might suggest otherwise.
Any Huawei equipment is “too much”
Following the latest meeting between US and UK security officials, the U.S. issued the following statement:
"It's the strong view and assessment by the US by a broad range of officials both political and professionals that any amount of equipment from untrusted Chinese vendors is too much.
"Any amount carries the risk of compromising infrastructure, private citizens' data and corporate secrets and sensitive information. It raises the questions, why do any amount of business with people you don't trust?"
At the NATO summit last month, Boris Johnson made it very clear that his main concern was whether using Huawei technology would damage its intelligence sharing partnership with the US.
"I don't want this country to be unnecessarily hostile to investment from overseas but, on the other hand, we cannot prejudice our vital national security interests," he said.
Meanwhile, Huawei remains confident that the UK will allow its technology to be involved in the roll-out of 5G.