Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has expressed his shock that the Conservative government has decided to allow Chinese-owned Huawei involvement in British 5G networks, despite warnings from intelligence allies Australia and the United States.
On Tuesday, Boris Johnson’s government announced that Huawei would be involved in the development of Britain’s 5G networks, with a so-called limited access.
Critics say that the company is controlled by the Communist Chinese government, and allowing Huawei access could leave British communications networks vulnerable to hacking or spying by foreign powers.
Australia, New Zealand, and the United States — three of the Five Eyes — have warned the UK against allowing Huawei even limited access to “periphery” technologies, with American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set to fly to the UK on Wednesday to discuss the Trump administration’s concerns over Prime Minister Johnson’s decision.
Calling the move “dreadful”, Mr Farage told Sky News on Wednesday that not even Australia, with its financial links and geographical proximity to China, will allow Huawei access to their communications systems.
“Even Australia in 2012 decided that Huawei should not be part of their digital and cyber infrastructure because no one knows who actually owns it.
Delingpole: Huawei, Coronavirus and Boris’s Great Brexit Betrayal https://t.co/xDFShRd9cj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 27, 2020
“There are fears that it’s a front for the Chinese government. We know the Chinese are a surveillance society. If even Australia thinks it’s not worth the risk, then what on earth are we doing taking that risk?”
On the argument that the Chinese company’s access will be partitioned, the politician said: “I’m not convinced by the arguments about ‘core’ and ‘periphery’ one little bit. There are plenty of companies out there around the world that we could be partnering and working with on this. Just because Huawei was involved in 3G and 4G is not an argument for it to be involved in 5G.
“I wonder what it now means, in terms of our relationship, with Trump’s America?”
Before the government had made the decision, a senior U.S. official reportedly said that the UK involving the Chinese firm could jeopardise a future post-Brexit trade deal. He said: “The appetite for a US-UK trade agreement could be diminished by the UK making the wrong decision on Huawei.”
A terrible decision.
This is bad for national security, an insult to our closest friends and a sign that our establishment have been paid off by China. https://t.co/PacF8tkXFM
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 28, 2020