Government 'considering' whether to ban Huawei products from UK after US sanctions

Boris Johnson is considering whether to ban Huawei from the UK
Boris Johnson is considering whether to ban Huawei from the UK Credit: PA

The government is "considering" whether to ban Huawei from the UK after sanctions imposed by the US raised questions over the firm's security, the culture secretary has said.

Oliver Dowden said he has received a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) report on the Chinese technology firm and will be discussing it with Boris Johnson.

The prime minister had previously made a controversial move to permit Huawei's involvement in the UK's 5G network but Mr Dowden says his boss's decision is not “fixed in stone”.

By July 22 a decision will have been announced on whether to rescind the firm's access, Downing Street has promised.

The Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, told reporters any move to ban Huawei would send out a "very bad message to other Chinese businesses".

He said: “We want to be your friend.

"We want to be your partner.

"But if you want to make China a hostile country, you will have to bear the consequences."

Mr Johnson has been under enduring pressure from his own backbenches to halt the company’s involvement over concerns that it presents a security risk.

Mr Dowden said the NCSC had reviewed the impact of the sanctions announced by the US in May in a bid by Donald Trump’s administration to cut the firm off from international semiconductor supplies.

He told ITV News he and the prime minister were "considering" analysis provided by the NCSC and said a decision would be announced in Parliament.

Mr Johnson’s move to allow Huawei a role set the government at odds with the US, which had repeatedly warned against the firm amid clashes with China.

The US imposed sanctions on the firm to deter countries from using their technology.

Huawei vice president Victor Zhang said the consequences of the sanctions were as yet unclear.

“We are working closely with our customers to find ways of managing the proposed US restrictions so the UK can maintain its current lead in 5G.

"As ever, we remain open to discussions with the government,” he said.

“We believe it is too early to determine the impact of the proposed restrictions, which are not about security, but about market position.”