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Uk Telecoms: Huawei

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:48 am on 25th April 2019.

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Photo of Ronnie Cowan Ronnie Cowan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure) 10:48 am, 25th April 2019

As I see it, there are two major considerations. In the UK we are lagging behind China, the USA and South Korea. The fact that we are even talking about this issue is a strong indication that there has been a lack of a realistic UK Government-backed strategy, and that has allowed us to fall behind, and we are now facing tough decisions, which could and should have been avoided. There is the threat of espionage, which is obviously denied by China. There have been persistent rumours since 2012 of an elite cyber-warfare unit using either Huawei’s software or flaws in it. Why it should go to such lengths when the NSC leaks like a sieve is beyond me, but if we do not know, how we can possibly take that risk?

I have two brief questions for the Secretary of State. Can he define the “core” and the “edge” of a 5G network and assure me that it cannot be compromised from either side? As EE is building 4G to carry emergency services, with its planned 5G piggybacking on that, will Huawei’s 5G plan disrupt that service?