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Huawei and 5G — [Ian Paisley in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:24 am on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright Conservative, Kenilworth and Southam 10:24 am, 4th March 2020

I agree with my hon. Friend that it is sensible to make sure we do not undermine diversity through our own actions. However, as a matter of principle, taking suppliers out of the system does not assist diversity. The points he has made are substantially about security, and I agree that this debate must focus on that question. Whether we use market caps or bring along other suppliers in the market, diversity is a legitimate security objective, just as it is a legitimate economic objective. However, I am afraid that we do not have the luxury of inventing a domestic contributor to this market in a short space of time, so we have to deal with the market as it is.

There is a good reason why we focus on the security of the system as a whole and not on one supplier. If we are worried about China, as it is perfectly right for us to be, it is worth keeping in mind the fact that many of the competitor suppliers referred to in this debate use Chinese components in their equipment, or assemble their equipment in China. It is therefore important to recognise China’s potential to intervene.