Following the UK’s decision to include Huawei in its 5G networks in a limited role, a group of Tory MPs tried to pass an amendment to stop the firm’s involvement.
According to a BBC report, former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith proposed the amendment to the Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill, an amendment that would have required “high-risk vendors” to be banned from the country’s 5G architecture by the end of 2022. The amendment was defeated by 24 votes, but it signals that Prime Minister Johnson’s own party is divided on the decision.
Of the Five Eyes countries—the U.S., UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada—that share intelligence, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand have already banned the Chinese firm. Canada is still undecided, making the U.K. the only country that has welcomed its involvement, albeit in a limited role. As part of the decision to allow Huawei’s participation, the government agreed to limit it to 35% of network equipment and restrict it from the core network, or from being installed near military bases or nuclear sites.
If this recent vote was any indication, the company’s role in the UK’s future networks is far from resolved.