‘Johnson can allow Huawei to provide 5G networks’

TOPSHOT – Britain’s Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader, Boris Johnson (C), joins the Chulmleigh College school choir as they sing and sign ‘A Lovely Day’ during a visit to Chulmleigh College while campaigning for the general election in Chulmleigh, Devon, southwest England, on November 28, 2019. Britain will go to the polls on December 12, 2019 to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. / AFP / POOL / Dan Kitwood

London, Dec 29 (IANS) Despite espionage fears, UK security chiefs have given the green light for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to provide Britain’s 5G networks, a media report said on Sunday.

A senior security source told The Mail newspaper on Sunday that “the balance between national security and the economic benefit to the UK is something we are confident we can manage”.

The Prime Minister is due to convene his National Security Council in the third week of January to make a decision on whether the Chinese firm could be trusted to provide elements of the vital upgrade.

Preliminary discussions recommended excluding the firm from “core” aspects of the British network.

But it was understood that security service bosses have given their blessing to a plan to allow Huawei to supply “non core” elements such as antennae for high-speed mobile internet.

However, such a move risks a row with the US, which takes a harder line on China.

The National Security Council has previously been warned that blocking Huawei’s access to the UK’s 5G network risks leaving Britain in the technological dark age.

Huawei has consistently denied espionage allegations.

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