Britain will decide whether to let Huawei’s equipment be used in its 5G networks this autumn, according to Nicky Morgan.
The culture secretary said this morning that whatever decision it takes on the Chinese telecoms giant, the government will ensure it is for the long term.
“We will make the right decision for the UK. I would hope we could do something by the autumn,” Morgan told the BBC.
“We’ve got to make sure that this is going to be a decision for the long term, making sure that we keep all our networks secure.”
The question of whether to include Huawei in Britain’s plans for 5G mobile network infrastructure has ignited a fierce debate over national security.
Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of telecoms equipment and is a frontrunner in the race to develop 5G networks. Britain’s mobile operators are already pushing ahead with the 5G rollout, all of them using Huawei equipment, meaning a decision to ban the firm would force them to rip up their plans.
Trump and Johnson discuss Huawei on G7 sidelines
Morgan’s comments come after US President Donald Trump discussed the matter with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France this weekend.
“The President and Prime Minister also addressed global security issues of mutual concern, especially Iran’s threat to freedom of navigation in the Gulf, tensions in Hong Kong, 5G and Huawei, and instability in Libya and the Sahel region,” the White House said in a statement.
The Trump administration has put the squeeze on the Chinese firm in recent months, adding Huawei and many of its subsidiaries to its government agency trading blacklist.
Earlier this month, Trump said he did not want to do business with the company because it allegedly poses a “national security threat”.