News | Published March 11 2020

Huawei 5G network to go ahead in spite of backbench objection

Boris Johnson faced his first backbench rebellion during his time as prime minister yesterday, regarding the government’s plans to allow Huawei to be in used for the UK’s 5G network.

Almost 40 Conservative rebels objected to the Chinese firm’s involvement with the project which is set to commence in 2023.

The government have promised to create a new bill in order to discuss their concerns, however, the MPs still pushed their plan through to a vote.

Nonetheless, the government pushed defeated the amendment by a 24-vote majority in the Commons.

Matt Warman, the culture minister assured rebel MPs that their doubts had been heard "loud and clear".

He continued, that: "We will now engage intensively with colleagues across the House to make sure that we will make our case at every possible level…and we will underline that we will always put national security at the very top of our agenda."

No 10 signed off the use of Huawei technology to support the 5G network earlier this year in spite of objections.

The company are not allowed to work in areas deemed to be particularly sensitive, nor are they able to exceed a market share of more than 35 per cent.

Critics of the company’s involvement say that the firm is a risk to UK security and that it is an arm of the Chinese government.

The US and Australia have both banned Huawei from helping with their networks and have been vocal in their criticisms of the UK’s decision.

Vice president of Huawei, Victor Zhang said that: "An evidence-based approach is needed, so we were disappointed to hear some groundless accusations asserted.

"The industry and experts agree that banning Huawei equipment would leave Britain less secure, less productive and less innovative."

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
March 11 2020

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