Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Code rights in respect of land connected to leased premises

Part of Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 10th March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 2:00 pm, 10th March 2020

I will give way in a second, but I am conscious that you want me to make some progress, Madam Deputy Speaker.

I worry when we start compromising security. I worry—and this is the point I want to make—that we have no friends out there any more on this issue. The Canadians, the Americans, the Australians and the New Zealanders all disagree with us. I know there is sometimes a habit in this country of people quietly and smugly saying, “Well, we’re better than they are”, and I understand that. It may be the suggestion of the Security Council—[Interruption.] Well, you know what it is like. I learn a lot from my nationalist colleagues. [Interruption.] I do; I used to live there.

The point is that when people say that smugly, the answer is, “No, we’re not.” The Australians are adamant that they do not believe it is possible to manage this process, and everyone else from the Americans onwards says the same. The Japanese are absolutely seething with us over this because it undermines them, and they are of course very close to what they consider to be a threat. Then we get others, people whom we are not necessarily close to, such as the Vietnamese, who do not even want to do this because they recognise that there is a real threat. My point is that, once we add this all up, there is simply nobody out there who agrees.

I therefore very simply say this: no matter how intelligent, brilliant and great our security and cyber-security services are, how is it that they are right and everybody else is wrong? In fact, at a briefing the other day, I saw them trashing the Australian view of this. I simply say, fine, but the reality is that we are alone on this matter, and I think that that is a very bad place to be in relation to our closest allies when it comes to security.