Boris Johnson 'changes his mind' over Huawei deal

Boris Johnson ‘changes his mind’ over Huawei deal and ‘wants a way out of the agreement’

  • The company is to hold talks with Downing Street following reports No 10 is seeking a way out of the deal to let Huawei build 35 per cent of the 5G network
  • A senior Government source told the Sunday Times the Prime Minister wanted to use a new security review ‘as cover’ for getting out of the deal
  • It is understood that No 10 has drawn up a plan to phase out the role of Huawei

Boris Johnson has ‘changed his mind’ over the deal with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, according to a senior Government source.

The company is to hold crunch talks with Downing Street this week following reports No 10 is seeking a way out of the deal to let Huawei build 35 per cent of the 5G network.

The meeting with Sir Edward Lister, one of Mr Johnson’s senior aides, has been described as a ‘clarifying moment’ for the company.

A senior Government source told the Sunday Times the Prime Minister wanted to use a new security review ‘as cover’ for getting out of the deal. Another said Mr Johnson’s ‘attitude has changed’.

Boris Johnson has ‘changed his mind’ over the deal with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, according to a senior Government source

Intelligence officials at the National Cyber Security Centre are examining new laws in the US that ban Huawei from using American technology in its equipment.

The US believes Huawei is used by the Chinese state for spying.

It is understood that No 10 has drawn up a plan to phase out the role of Huawei by a fixed date, with 2023 floated as a possible deadline.

Some officials are concerned Huawei could threaten to walk away, leaving the 3G and 4G networks – in which its equipment is used – in turmoil.

Last week the Daily Mail revealed that Huawei equipment will remain inside part of Britain’s mobile phone network for up to seven years, even if Mr Johnson tries to ban it.

Industry insiders said it would take years for them to rip out Huawei kit from their infrastructure if they were told to do so by the government.

They also warned it would result in long delays to the Prime Minister’s plan to deliver full-fibre broadband to all in the UK.

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