Mike Pompeo on Brexit, Huawei, Harry Dunn and chlorinated chicken
30 January 2020, 21:31 | Updated: 30 January 2020, 21:36
- Watch Iain Dale's full exclusive interview with Mike Pompeo below from 7pm
- Mr Pompeo was in the UK for talks with Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab
-He hailed Brexit, said the US was 'disappointed' over Huawei and spoke about the case of teenager Harry Dunn
The US secretary of state today hailed Brexit, saying the US is “pleased that the UK has been able to accomplish what the British people wanted.
Mike Pompeo was speaking exclusively to Iain Dale on LBC in his only UK broadcast interview as part of a visit to the country this week.
On the eve of the UK's departure from Europe, Mr Pompeo said: “Within a handful of hours, the United Kingdom will have executed something they've been working on for an awfully long time, to leave the EU as the people directed them to do.
“We're pleased that the United Kingdom has been able to accomplish what the British people wanted. Our relationship has been great. It’s been great for a long time. I believe now we'll be able to do even more.”
He said he hoped the US would be able to work more closely with the UK in future on security, trade, and diplomacy with a UK that is “free from some of the constraints” of the EU.
In a wide ranging interview, Mr Pompeo also spoke about:
- The Huawei 5G deal: “We said we were disappointed [at the UK’s decision]. We viewed the intrusion of the Chinese Communist Party into information systems as a “very great risk”
- The case of Harry Dunn: “I want to re-emphasise what a tragic event this is. I can’t imagine, to know the pain of the family. We are doing everything we can to address all of the things that might have contributed to this.” But he added
- “we can never put it all the way back sadly” when asked about the extradition of Anne Sacoolas.
- The controversial issue of chlorinated chicken being part of a UK/US trade deal: “We need to make sure we don't use food safety as a rouse to try and protect a particular industry. “
Mr Pompeo met with Boris Johnson today amid transatlantic tensions over the Huawei deal.
When quizzed by LBC’s Iain Dale, he refused to answer on a “scale of 1 to 10” how disappointed he was with Boris Johnson’s decision, but said: “Look we said we were disappointed.
“We viewed the intrusion of the Chinese Communist Party into information technology systems as a very great risk, a national security risk, as well as a core privacy risk.
“If you're health records are on a system that belongs and is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, that's not something you'd probably choose in the first instance. And so we are looking forward to working with our United K partners on the security elements of this.
“And then working alongside them to develop what we think about this as trusted networks. It’s not about Huawei. It’s about ensuring that the information that we put our citizens' data on is secure and safe.”
Explaining the diplomatic row amid the US’s refusal to extradite Anne Sacoolas, the diplomat’s wife accused of killing teenager Harry Dunn near an RAF base, he said: “The loss of life as a result of this automobile accident is absolutely tragic. I can't imagine, to know the pain of the family.
“We have enormous sympathy with them. The President had a chance to meet with that family. We're doing everything we can to make sure that we address all of the things that might have contributed to this, safety, training, all of the things that can reduce the risk of something like this could ever happen again.”
But he was evasive when he was asked whether Ms Sacoolas would return to the UK to face justice. Mr Dale asked: “But she won’t be coming back here?”
“You know we're having conversation about a lot of things,” said Mr Pompeo.
“We're gonna do everything we can to get this right and to make this as right as anybody can make it when there was a loss of life.
“We can never put it all the way back sadly. But we'll do everything we can to put this in the best possible place.”