BritishAmerican Business (BAB) Statement on the Use of Equipment from High-Risk Vendors in UK Telecoms Networks

London/New York Commenting on the decision by the UK Government to continue to allow Huawei to build 5G infrastructure in the UK, BAB CEO, Duncan Edwards said:

“Today, we took note of the UK Government’s decision to allow the limited use of equipment from high-risk vendors in UK telecoms networks.

“The Government has made its decision after seeking detailed advice from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) which maintains that the risks from including Huawei and other vendors in the 5G infrastructure can be contained.

“As an organization that believes in the benefits of free and open trade, our instincts are to oppose all forms of trade barrier.  At the same time, this decision is not in line with the conclusions drawn by some of Britain’s allies, including the United States, and we hope that this does not create any other sort of barrier to collaboration, given the importance of the security alliance between the two nations.

“We fully acknowledge the complexity of this issue and the fact that Huawei is already an equipment supplier for existing telecoms networks has important commercial implications. We are also not party to the detailed security advice and no doubt the UK Government has thought hard about balancing economic and security implications.

“As the discussion on the matter continues, particularly in a transatlantic context, we urge the UK Government to do all it can to encourage the entry of lower risk suppliers into the telecoms market and to maintain a vigilant and sceptical eye on all high risk suppliers that are given access.

“We look forward to continuing the dialogue with the Government on this crucial issue and finding the best route forward, addressing security concerns while using 5G to spur economic growth and innovation.”