BORIS Johnson is poised to allow controversial Chinese tech firm Huawei access to Britains sensitive 5G telecoms network.
The move would implement the highly contentious decision by Theresa May earlier this year, despite the major backlash it triggered among her own Cabinet.
It led to the sacking of the then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson – now Education Secretary in Mr Johnson’s Cabinet – after he was pinned for leaking Mrs May’s decision.
Senior Whitehall and security services told two Sunday newspapers that the Government is heading towards granting Huawei a role in building the “non-contentious” parts of the crucial 5G network.
But the move would put the UK at odds with Donald Trump‘s administration, which has repeatedly warned that giving Huawei access to critical infrastructure could give the Chinese intelligence services a backdoor into critical national infrastructure.
The US has banned Huawei over these fears and has even warned the UK that it could be cut out of crucial intelligence-sharing schemes between the two countries if it gives Huawei the green light.
But Mr Johnson has been warned that refusing Huawei a role would make it very hard to achieve his goal of “gigabit-capable” broadband speeds to millions of UK homes by 2025.
The Government has also been warned that restricting Huawei from the network would cost up to 7billion to the UK economy because of the delays and the need to find alternative providers.
And industry insiders fear that Germany’s recent decision to allow Huawei in would enable the country to steal a march on the UK in becoming a financier of choice to China in the West.