Critical National Infrastructure: Ownership — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:07 pm on 22nd July 2013.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 3:07 pm, 22nd July 2013

There are several points there. To say that the BT network is controlled by the Chinese is, to say the least, a considerable exaggeration. The issue of the dependence on the supply of equipment from China is a rather different one, and that, as noble Lords will know, is the subject of a recent ISC report. British sovereignty has traditionally and in recent years been debated much more in terms of threat to English common law, and the existential threat which Brussels and the European courts are thought to provide to Britain, than in terms of the threat from foreign investment. I should welcome the noble Lord banging on about one rather than the other—it would make a nice change.