Huawei exec: UK ban "bad news for anyone with internet connection"

14 July 2020, 18:49 | Updated: 14 July 2020, 19:15

By Seán Hickey

Huawei's Director of Communications is disappointed with the UK's decision to ban the company from the 5G network, "urging" the government to reconsider.

Ed Brewster is the Director of Communications for Huawei and joined Eddie Mair to discuss the government's decision today to ban the Chinese telecommunications giant from the UK's 5G network.

He is already "urging them to reconsider it" and told Eddie right off the bat that the move is "bad news for anybody who has a mobile phone or an internet connection in the UK."

Mr Brewster added that the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed in the House of Commons today that the move "threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane" and shows the move to be irresponsible.

He told Eddie that Huawei was providing a vital service to the UK, warning that "we need the next generation of technology in Britain and Huawei is the leader in that" and banning Huawei was ultimately the wrong decision.

"The government's decision today is disappointing and it's we regret they've taken this but unfortunately this has been politicised by US trade policy" he added.

Eddie took the opportunity to ask the Huawei boss if the company have used slave labour from Uighur Muslims in their production lines, and when Mr Brewster didn't directly address the question, Eddie interrupted and wondered that "the correct answer surely is no." Which Mr Brewster agreed and said the company don't use slave labour.

Eddie went further and wondered if the Huawei Director was "free to criticise Chinese government policy." Mr Brewster told Eddie that Huawei doesn't have to currently criticise the Chinese government because they haven't been singled out by them.

"The British government today has made an announcement specifically to Huawei and we're saying it's a decision we're disappointed with" he said.

Eddie then asked "if the Chinese government made a similar decision would you equally criticise it in public?" Mr Brewster's answer was a pause, then a yes.