Anne Main raises concerns about leaked future role of Huawei in UK telecoms infrastructure

25th April 2019

Following the Government statement on the future role of Huawei in UK telecoms infrastructure, Anne Main urges the Government to ensure that our existing relationships with friendly countries, our cyber-security and national security are not put in jeopardy in the hope of securing future trade deals with China.

 

We are only here today because there has been a leak. That is incredibly regrettable for the whole of the House—I have heard that opinion from both sides of the House—and national security could not be a more important topic for all of us to be discussing. I am a little concerned that the leak may be trivialised by saying that it is as a result of someone’s leadership campaign. I am more concerned that it may be as a result of whistleblowing, because the process is so concerning to someone that they have felt the need to break the bond of trust that has existed for so long.

I accept that the review is going on at the moment in great secrecy, but since this has now been brought out into the open, can my right hon. and learned Friend assure the House that absolutely every consideration will be given to all the concerns that have been raised by hon. Members here today about both our relationship with countries such as Australia and our cyber-security and national security? Importantly, will he make sure that some concept of future deals with China is not colouring what we must now have absolutely at the forefront of our mind—the safety of the British public?

Yes, I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. That will indeed be the focus of this review, as she has just heard me say. I do not think that the motivation for this leak matters in the slightest. This was unacceptable, and it is corrosive of the ability to deliver good government, which is something for which we must all take responsibility. In discussions of this kind, people are entitled to express whatever views they wish—and they do—but once the discussion has been held, collective responsibility requires that people do not repeat their views publicly, and they certainly should not discuss matters that have a security implication of this kind. I think that is clear, and the majority of Members of the House will agree. We will return to the substance of this issue when I have the opportunity to speak rather more freely than I can at the moment, and I will of course give the House as much detail as I can.

Hansard

 

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