‘We are handing the keys to large parts of the country over to China’: David Davis says Huawei could devastate security co-operation with US and be worst decision by a British PM
- Pressure is growing on the Prime Minister to reverse decision to enlist Huawei
- David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, today urged Number 10 to reconsider
- It comes after the US warned the UK intelligence sharing could be weakened
Senior Tories have warned Boris Johnson that granting Huawei a role in the UK’s 5G network amounts to ‘handing the keys to large parts of the country over to China’.
Pressure is now growing on the Prime Minister to reverse his decision to green light the Chinese tech giant to help build the communications grid.
David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, today urged the government to go back to the drawing board after the US warned it could harm intelligence sharing arrangements.
Writing for the Mail On Sunday, Mr Davis said the Huawei move represented the ‘worst intelligence decision since MI6’s recruitment of Kim Philby’ as he claimed it could enable Beijing to seize control of core infrastructure like dams and air traffic control.
This morning he doubled down on these warnings as he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘We’re handing the keys to large parts of the country over to China.
David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, today urged the government to go back to reverse its decision to hire Huawei (pictured on the Andrew Marr Show)
Pressure is now growing on the Prime Minister to reverse his decision to green light the Chinese tech giant to build the communications grid
Senior Tories have warned the move would ‘hand the keys to large parts of the country over to China,’ and its President Xi Jinping (pictured)
‘5G in the future is going to be everything. It’s going to be from traffic light controls to your medical records.
‘From your telephone and your video, right through to the operation of the infrastructures, water and electricity.
‘Now that is going to be completely throughout our society.’
Told that UK security services had assured the government that the decision to involve Huawei was safe, Mr Davis said he believed spies were ‘underestimating the size of the problem’.
His intervention comes after fellow former Tory Cabinet minister Owen Paterson described the government’s approach to Huawei as ‘incomprehensible’.
Big beasts including foreign affairs committee chairman Tom Tugendhat, former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt and former party leader Iain Duncan Smith have also all lined up to condemn the decision.
Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (pair pictured at White House) will lead the delegation to Britain to convey the President’s concerns directly with the Prime Minister and urge him to reconsider
The White House has urged its allies not to do business with Huawei because of security concerns. The company has always denied that it poses a security risk.
Britain’s move to plow ahead regardless has soured relations between Washington and London, with President Trump reportedly incandescent.
While Mr Johnson’s refusal to be strong-armed by the President has won him some plaudits in the UK, it could derail his much-mooted post-Brexit trade deal with America.
Mick Mulvaney, the White Houses’s acting chief of staff, last week led a delegation to Number 10 shortly and is understood to have given his UK counterparts a ‘b******ing over Huawei.
Discussions over the UK’s 5G network are believed to have dominated the trip at the expense of preliminary trade talks, which were bumped down the agenda.
Australia, also a close ally of the UK, has weighed in behind the US to caution against enlisting Huawei.
Following the decision to press ahead late last month, the Australian intelligence and security committee scrapped a planned visit to meet Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.