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UK Telecommunications

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:08 pm on 28th January 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 3:08 pm, 28th January 2020

The hon. Gentleman questioned the rigour of the decision, but as I set out in my statement, it follows—in fairness to Nick Thomas-Symonds, he acknowledged this—what has been a very thorough and extended assessment, including the telecoms supply chain review and the analysis on the security side by the National Cyber Security Centre. I am afraid that John Nicolson is at odds with all of that analysis, including that provided by the intelligence agencies to the Government. He mentioned some countries that have taken a different decision, but as far as I am aware, New Zealand has not taken the decision that he describes. I am afraid that he is wrong on that count. If he is calling for an outright ban he should say so, and he should also address square on the fact that the analysis that we have received shows that that would not be an effective, targeted or forensic way to address the security concerns rightly identified by the review that we conducted. It would not remove Chinese production from the UK telecoms supply. It would reduce competition, which he suggested is part of the problem, and that would make things worse. It would significantly increase the costs for industry and would delay the roll-out of 5G. On all counts, I say respectfully that he has got his analysis wrong.