eThe Kingdom leaves the EU at the end of the week, but the attention of the British belongs to two other regions of the world. This Tuesday, the National Security Council in London wants to decide whether to involve the Chinese communications company Huawei in building the 5G network or to give in to the pressure from the United States and refuse approval. We need to show our colors in the conflict between Washington and Beijing.
The strategically relevant question is the first to be discussed controversially in Boris Johnson’s new government. Defense Minister Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel are said to have sided with Donald Trump. Both seem to argue that Chinese technology could infiltrate British communications and industry. They receive support from the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Commons, Tom Tugendhat: “It is not a good thing to regain control of Brussels just to hand it over to Beijing.” Patel and Wallace, responsible for internal and external security, if the main victims were, Washington would carry out its apparently internal threat and restrict intelligence cooperation. The exchange under the “Five Eyes”, which includes America, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, is considered an asset for the British secret services.
There is enough resentment between London and Washington
The government in London is the only one in the group that has not yet decided against Huawei. London is “facing a momentous decision,” wrote Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday night on Twitter. He is expected in London on Wednesday. Not all of Washington’s concerns seem to share within the British intelligence apparatus. Andrew Parker, head of MI5 domestic intelligence, believes the security risks are “manageable”, according to media reports, unless Huawei has access to the “core” elements of the network. Downing Street is said to be considering issuing restricted permits to the Chinese. Huawei would then only deliver the antennas, but not the servers.
According to The Times, Downing Street is “irritated” about the Trump administration. For a year she has been asked to offer alternative technologies. The requests remain unanswered. Redesigning the 5G network also threatened to put an additional strain on the tense relationship with China. On the other hand, Johnson will not want to further tighten the relationship with Trump. Different positions in Iran politics and in the taxation of the foreign business of American data corporations are already causing a lot of displeasure.
Added to this is the diplomatic affair about the accidental death of a young British man, which was caused by an American woman in August last year. The woman who was driving on the wrong side of the road is under special protection by the United States because her husband is based at the United States Air Force Listening Station at Croughton Air Force Base. The British prosecutor has requested extradition of the woman who had rushed to America, which Washington rejects with reference to diplomatic immunity. This in turn was described by the Home Office in London as a “denial of justice”.