The UK decided Tuesday to allow Huawei to have a limited role in building the country’s 5G network. The decision has strained relations with the U.S. and sparked a rebellion within Boris Johnson’s own party, according to CNBC and The Guardian.
The U.S. has been playing full-court press in its efforts to pressure the UK to ban Huawei from involvement in building out the country’s network. U.S. officials have even gone so far as to consider measures that would limit intel sharing with countries that use Huawei, something that would have profound implications for the relationship the two countries enjoy.
In the wake of the UK’s decision, according to CNBC, Senator Ben Sasse said: “Here’s the sad truth: our special relationship is less special now that the U.K. has embraced the surveillance state commies at Huawei.”
Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, it’s not just American politicians who are upset with the decision. Members of Boris Johnson’s own party are pushing for the government to commit to a three year window, by the end of which Huawei will be pushed out of British networks.
“A group of anti-Huawei Tories want an assurance that the government will work towards reducing the Chinese company’s influence in UK infrastructure to zero, ultimately stripping it out of the 4G network as well,” says The Guardian.
“Their argument is that any provider deemed high-risk by the intelligence services should be phased out of the supply chain, although Britain’s spy agencies say that any security risk from Huawei can be managed.”
The ongoing saga demonstrates what’s at stake—far beyond wireless speeds and cell subscribers—as 5G rolls out around the world.