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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 2:45 pm on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of John Nicolson John Nicolson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 2:45 pm, 10th March 2020

I support amendment 1. I think that the Secretary of State took eight or nine interventions, and I was interested in his language. As a journalist, I know that when politicians talk about “moving towards”, it means that there is no end in sight, and that “like to” means “perhaps, but I am not going to give any commitment of any kind”. We could sense the feeling of disappointment on the Conservative Benches.

The Secretary of State said that he would never compromise safety and security, and then went on to detail all the ways in which he was compromising the nation’s safety and security. Huawei is not a normal company. Huawei is an arm of the Chinese state., which is exactly why our fellow members of Five Eyes are so frustrated by the Government’s behaviour. We are also being told repeatedly that only a certain percentage of the nation’s infrastructure will be surrendered, but, as I said in my intervention on my hon. Friend Ronnie Cowan, that suggests a misunderstanding of the whole nature of 5G.

I apologise for my hoarseness, Madam Deputy Speaker. Please excuse me while I drink the water with which I have been provided. I always think it is terribly unfair that Labour Front Benchers are given glasses while we are forced to rely on plastic—that is yet another example of anti-Scottish discrimination in this place—but I thank Chi Onwurah.

The distinction in 5G between core and edge collapses. There is no distinction: that is the point. It is meaningless twaddle to keep talking as if 5G were no different from current technology. I recognise, of course, that the Government are between a rock and a hard place, facing a decision between spiralling costs and high security, but here in the UK we have spent, and continue to spend, billions of pounds on the development, maintenance and renewal of 20th-century defence systems that simply are not fit to face the security challenges of the modern era. Those who pose the biggest threats that we now face— terrorism, climate change and, of course, cyber-attacks—will not be deterred by multi-billion-pound nuclear missiles in the Firth of Forth.