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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 agree with my right hon. Friend, and I was going to come to those points.

As I saying, if we look at this strategy, we see that when this all began, there were something like 12 companies in this marketplace. One by one, they have disappeared. Why have they disappeared? They simply cannot compete with Huawei’s pricing. These telecoms companies—telcos, as we call them—have bit by bit found themselves going to the cheapest bidder, providing the technology is as good as the others. By the way, it is certainly not an argument that Huawei has better technology; there is no evidence of that whatsoever. In fact, I think Dr Ian Levy said a year ago that he thought Huawei’s security issues were a shambles, and that is correct. Huawei does not somehow have extra brilliant technology. What it does have, however, is money, which allows it to bid down.

The hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne Central said that she is a believer in free markets. She will know that the free market relies on companies being able, when they sell their goods, to make enough money to reinvest and improve the quality of their goods. That is how a proper rules-based market works, but not with a company like this, which is able to strip that away. One by one, these companies have gone, not because of market failure but because it has been a policy position of the Chinese Government using Huawei to dominate this market over nearly two decades.