The United States has banned U.S. government agencies from purchasing from Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications company. U.S. policymakers have viewed Huawei as a security risk and is pressuring allies to also shun the Chines tech giant as they build out 5G networks
The U.S. pressure on Huawei hreatens to disrupt the traditionally close relations between U.S. and British intelligence agencies. The British telecommunications industry is heavily dependent on Huawei equipment. This week the chief of MI5, the domestic British security agency (equivalent to the FBI), pushed back.
In an interview with the Financial Times, MI5 director general Sir Andrew Parker expressed confidence that Britain’s intelligence gathering would not suffer if it did decide to go ahead.
Asked specifically, if he thought the UK would lose out on its intelligence relationships, he said: “I’ve no reason today to think that.”
His comments came as it was reported that a US delegation from National Security Agency and the National Economic Council was due in London on Monday in a last-ditch lobbying drive to persuade the British officials not to give Huawei a role.