Allowing Chinese tech firm Huawei to participate in the UK’s 5G network poses an unnecessary risk to national security, the former head of MI6 has warned.
Sir Richard Dearlove has called for a total ban on Huawei, warning that no Chinese company could be free from the influence of the communist state.
“To place China in a potentially advantageous exploitative position in the UK’s future telecommunications systems is a risk, however remote it may seem at the moment, we simply do not need to take,” he wrote in a foreword to a major report by foreign policy think tank the Henry Jackson Society.
The government has come under fire after it emerged the UK will block Huawei from core parts of its 5G network, but allow it to participate in non-core areas such as antennas.
But the report has rejected the UK’s mooted strategy, which was leaked from a national security meeting last month, as “no solution at all”.
The intervention came hours after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively banning American companies from doing business with Huawei.