This has been an important and timely debate. I am glad that my right hon. Friend Sir Iain Duncan Smith has provided the Government with an opportunity to clarify some of their position.
As he knows, the Government’s first priority is to protect our citizens and their interests. That means that the security of our telecoms and critical national infrastructure is of paramount importance. That is why we undertook the telecoms supply chain review—to allow us to make hard-headed, evidence-based decisions.
The UK is a global leader in cyber-security. Our world-class security agencies have set out their security analysis of the telecoms sector in a level of public detail unmatched anywhere in the world.
It is because of the need to manage the risks to national security that we have made the decisions that we have on high-risk vendors, concluding that there needs to be strong restrictions on their presence in the network. It is because we need to improve the security of the network overall that we need a new security framework for telecoms.
Over time, our intention is to reduce our reliance on high-risk vendors, as market diversification takes place. We want to get to a position where we do not have to use a high-risk vendor in our telecoms network at all.