UK govt set to make decision on Huawei 5G role
Involvement opposed by US, senior Tories over security concerns
The British government's security council was meeting on Tuesday to decide whether it will allow Chinese telecoms firm Huawei to help build the UK's 5G network.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was under intense pressure from the US and many of his own senior Conservative MPs to block Huawei, citing security concerns.
Reports suggested Johnson wanted Huawei to be involved in a restricted capacity as he balanced economic needs against upsetting an international ally with whom he is desperate to sign a post-Brexit trade deal.
The hardline Home Secretary Priti Patel and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace are opposed to the idea, but may not have the numbers on the nine-member National Security Council to hold sway.
Huawei's advantage is that its technology is further advanced and more cost-effective than its rivals, meaning any decision to exclude it would hold back its introduction in the UK,
MPs lined up in parliament on Monday calling for the Chinese firm to be excluded outright with Tory MP Tom Tugendhat accusing Johnson of being prepared to “nest a dragon into our critical national infrastructure” adding that “it will not be reversible by a future government with any ease; we will live with this decision for the next 10, 15 or 20 years”.