Senior US officials made a last-minute plea to Boris Johnson today to keep Huawei out of Britain’s telecoms network, warning that allowing the Chinese firm to remain involved would be “nothing short of madness”.
A dossier was presented by a US delegation to the UK that officials told media outlets included new technical information that highlighted the risks of including Huawei technology in 5G networks.
A decision on the matter by Johnson is expected shortly, with many understanding him to be leaning in Huawei’s favour. British security agencies have advised that any potential risks could be mitigated by only using Huawei equipment in non-core areas.
The head of MI5 Sir Andrew Parker on Sunday said he had “no reason to think” using Huawei technology would affect the UK’s relationship with the US, despite American statements to the contrary.
One US official who attended the meeting told the Guardian: “Congress has made it clear they will want an evaluation of our intelligence sharing.”
“It would be like putting Russia in charge of anti-doping of world athletes,” another told the Financial Times.
A final decision on Huawei’s involvement in the UK telecoms network is expected by 31 January.
Huawei has consistently denied its technology can be used for spying purposes by the Chinese government.
A spokesperson for Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.