UK Defence Committee probe into national security threat of Huawei sure to uncover lots of new and original insights

Are they? Aren't they? Will they? Won't they? Yes, no, kind of, a bit


UK Parliament's Defence Committee is to open an investigation into 5G and Huawei with a special focus on national security concerns.

The House of Commons committee, made up of MPs, wants to find out for itself whether or not Huawei poses a threat to national security, something that nobody has ever raised before and which is bound to uncover lots of new and original insights.

In a statement, the committee said: "Concerns have been raised in Parliament, relevant industries, academia and by the press regarding the use of equipment in 5G networks that has been supplied by foreign companies, focusing on Chinese telecoms supplier Huawei."

Prime minister Boris Johnson's official spokesman told the press today that the government's ambition was to reduce Huawei's involvement in Britain's 5G networks, despite January's cap on the Chinese firm's involvement at 35 per cent. That cap will increase British mobile network operators' costs quite a bit, or so they say.

Previous Parliamentary committee inquiries into 5G and Huawei ended in farce as competing groups of MPs came up with differing answers to the Huawei question. Telcos have been pretty consistent, in that they don't care as long as they can crack on and build new networks with whatever's cheapest and that they'd like to know before they start spending the readies.

The Defence Committee was recently reappointed following December's general election. Its current chairman is Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative MP and former Army officer. It does not appear that any of Ellwood's parliamentary colleagues on the committee have any special knowledge of national security matters.

The US reacted with predictable public outrage after January's announcement but then largely returned to business as usual, although with whispered rumblings about reduced cooperation and intelligence sharing with the UK.

Anyone who cares strongly enough at this late stage can send emails to the committee as detailed on its webpage. ®

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