UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will not compromise Britain’s national security interests when it comes to a decision on whether to grant Huawei a role in building the UK’s 5G network. Speaking at the end of the Nato 70th anniversary leaders’ meeting Johnson said it was essential not to prejudice Britain’s ability to share intelligence with key allies.
His comments came as US President Donald Trump issued a fresh warning that the US considered any involvement by Huawei to be a ‘security danger’. Trump branded the Chinese company a ‘security risk’ and a ‘danger’ at today’s summit in Watford, Hertfordshire.
Johnson suggested Huawei’s involvement in Britain’s 5G systems would ‘prejudice vital national security interests’ ahead of him revealing his final decision after the General Election.
Telecoms security was also brought up when Trump met the PM at Downing Street last night, with the US leader previously accusing China of using Huawei for spying.
The Government has deferred a decision on whether to give Huawei a 5G contract until after the General Election on December 12. But Trump pleaded with the UK and other NATO allies to shun the company, saying:
‘I do think it is a security risk, a security danger. ‘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. ‘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.’
Mr Johnson appeared to agree with Trump, saying:
‘I don’t want this country to be unnecessarily 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.’
Huawei has repeatedly denied any accusations of spying, with a spokesman saying:
‘We’re confident the UK government will continue to take an objective, evidence-based approach to cyber security.
‘Our customers trust us because we supply the kind of secure, resilient systems called for by the NATO Declaration and will continue working with them to build innovative new networks.’