Wednesday 24 April 2019 9:41 am

Huawei ‘will be blocked’ from UK’s core 5G network despite green light from Theresa May

The UK will block Huawei from core parts of its 5G network and restrict its access to non-core areas, Reuters reported today, citing a security source.

Read more: Huawei: US ban 'belittles' national security

The ban comes despite media reports late last night that suggested Prime Minister Theresa May has given the green light to the Chinese tech giant.

Huawei has come under intense scrutiny in recent months amid fears its equipment could be used for spying by Chinese authorities, an allegation it has always denied.

The US has led calls to roll out a ban on the firm and has warned its allies intelligence-sharing agreements could be affected if they cooperate with Huawei.

The UK is yet to issue a formal verdict on the issue, but is due to publish a telecoms supply chain review in the coming weeks.

The National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, yesterday gave approval for Huawei to participate in 5G networks, the Telegraph reported.

However, this access will be limited to non-core infrastructure, according to the report.

The decision came despite opposition from key cabinet ministers. Home secretary Sajid Javid, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and defence secretary Gavin Williamson are all said to have raised concerns about the verdict.

“Allowing Huawei into the UK’s 5G infrastructure would cause allies to doubt our ability to keep data secure and erode the trust essential to Five Eyes cooperation,” wrote Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, in a tweet. “There’s a reason others have said no.”

It comes as top spy bosses from the so-called Five Eyes intelligence partnership meet at a cybersecurity conference in Glasgow.

In a speech today GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming will warn developments in technology are “exposing us to increasing complexity, uncertainty and risk”.

“It brings new and unprecedented challenges for policymakers as we seek to protect our citizens, judicial systems, businesses – and even societal norms,” he will say.

Read more: Huawei insists its technology is ‘as secure as any

“National Security Council discussions are confidential. Decisions from those meetings are made and announced at the appropriate time through the established processes,” a government spokesperson said.

“As part of our plans to provide world class digital connectivity, including 5G, we have conducted an evidence based review of the supply chain to ensure a diverse and secure supply base, now and into the future. This is a thorough review into a complex area and will report with its conclusions in due course.”