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Code rights in respect of land connected to leased premises

Part of Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 1:45 pm, 10th March 2020

I rise to speak to the amendment standing in my name and in those of my colleagues.

The reason we have tabled this amendment is that we are genuinely concerned, like Chi Onwurah, that this country has got itself far too bound into a process in which we are reliant on untrusted vendors—in this particular case, Huawei. We recently heard a Government Minister express the view that Huawei is a private company. Let us be absolutely clear at the outset: this company is not a private company. Ultimately, it is essentially almost completely owned by Chinese trade unions, and they, of course, are completely locked into the Chinese Government. This an organisation wholly owned by China.

It is often bandied around, including by some of the security guys the other day, that this is somehow all to do with market failure, as if out of nowhere companies from the west in the free markets—the free world—no longer wanted to get involved in this process. That is completely and utterly without foundation. The single biggest problem we have faced is that, nearly two decades ago, the Chinese Government set out to ensure that they dominated the market. As this organisation has access to nigh-on unlimited funds, it has spent that period underbidding every single time in these processes, from 2G through to 4G and now, as we understand it, 5G.