Defying pressure from the U.S. and Conservative MPs, the UK has refused to ban Huawei, opting to include it in a limited role, according to BBC News.
Amidst ongoing allegations that Huawei exposes governments and corporations to spying by the Chinese government, the U.S. has banned Huawei and engaged in a campaign to pressure its allies to do the same. That campaign has stepped up in recent weeks as the UK has weighed what role Huawei would play moving forward. The U.S. has even considered limiting intel sharing with countries that use Huawei for their 5G network, a move that would certainly strain the U.S. and UK’s “special relationship.”
Instead of banning Huawei, the UK has opted for allowing the company a limited role in the country’s 5G networks. As part of decision, Huawei will only be allowed to account for 35% of 5G telecommunications equipment. What’s more, the company will not be allowed to contribute to the sensitive parts of the core network. It will also be restricted from being used near military bases or nuclear sites.
In spite of the UK’s decision, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab believes it will have no impact on intel sharing with the U.S., or the coalition of countries known as the Five Eyes—the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia, along with the UK.
“Nothing in this review affects this country’s ability to share highly-sensitive intelligence data over highly-secure networks both within the UK and our partners, including the Five Eyes,” the minister told the House of Commons, according to the BBC.
It remains to be seen, however, what long-term impact this agreement will have on UK/U.S. relations.