US officials will arrive in London today in order to persuade the British government to ban Huawei equipment from being used in the UK’s 5G networks. This appears to be one last attempt to influence the UK’s decision on Huawei, as the final call is expected to be made towards the end of the month.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Security Minister Brandon Lewis said that a decision would be made “relatively soon”.
And last month, UK security chiefs gave the green light to Huawei’s involvement to 5G. This may have prompted the US visit to increase pressure on the UK in order to change its mind.
It’s decision time
It is believed that U.S. officials will ask the UK government to consider the security threat of using Huawei technology, with the company having been accused of intelligence sharing with China. And Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said that the Government was listening to American concerns.
“They have repeatedly said that. They have been clear about that: President Trump, the national security adviser,” Wallace told the Sunday Times.
Wallace also acknowledged Donald’s Trump’s threat to cut off some intelligence to the UK if the government gives Huawei a green light.
“The Defense Secretary said it personally to me directly when we met at Nato. It's not a secret. They have been consistent,” Wallace said. “Those things will be taken into account when the government collectively decides to make a decision on it.”
A future trade deal with the U.S. will play an important part in the UK’s future, post-Brexit. However, an outright ban on Huawei equipment will undoubtedly push back the launch of 5G, and could potentially cost billions to replace.