Ex-Defence Sec Penny Mordaunt: UK should never have got into this position over Huawei

30 January 2020, 07:58

Former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt told LBC that the UK is being forced to team up with Huawei for our 5G network because of our lack of forward planning.

The government confirmed this week that they will be using Huawei to work on building a 5G network across the UK, but said they would be limiting the company to "non-sensitive" areas.

There have been concerns over its close ties with the Chinese government and the US have been critical of the decision.

As Defence Secretary, Ms Mordaunt would have been involved in key discussions over cyber security and she says the UK has been too late to consider alternatives.

Speaking on Cross Question with Iain Dale, she said: "It's been my privilege to work very closely with people who work in defence and security with many of our allies, but particularly the US, who we lean on very heavily.

Iain Dale featured Penny Mordaunt on his Cross Question show
Iain Dale featured Penny Mordaunt on his Cross Question show. Picture: LBC

"I've expressed concerns about the situation. I think we should never, as a nation, put ourselves in this position again.

"We're in this position because we have not been looking far enough down the track. We don't think long term.

"What we should have been doing with our allies and with nations that we trust and that operate under international norms and good business standards is to develop technology and options for us as nations.

"We've been put in this very difficult position because we haven't done that as a country. The NSC has clearly had a very difficult decision to take."

Ms Mordaunt admitted she is not happy with the decision, but said she would only rebel against the government if she felt it would make a difference.

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