BORIS Johnson is set to ban the Chinese tech giant Huawei from the UK- but faces a backlash over it taking seven years.
The Prime Minister will this morning meet with the National Security Council who are expected to agree that Huawei equipment will be banned from next year.
Mr Johnson will announce the U-turn on using the firm’s technology while building the UK’s 5G network today, while also speeding up work to remove Huawei’s presence in existing infrastructure which has been around for 20 years.
However, he is now facing a furious backlash after it emerged the Chinese company’s technology will not be completely gone from the 5G network until 2027.
In a letter to Mr Johnson, ten Tory MPs bashed the “unreasonable delay”.
They said: “We do not believe it is possible for the UK to have both secure networks and a role for Huawei within them.
“It remains the case that, under China’s national intelligence law, Huawei is obliged to co-operate with Chinese intelligence and to deny that it does so. The nature of Chinese law is such that Huawei is — to all intents and purposes — a state-owned enterprise.
“In addition, we have learnt much more about how the People’s Republic of China treats its own people. In the last month alone, the world has been confronted with shocking new evidence of systematic human rights abuses by the Chinese Communist Party. These include a birth suppression programme directed against Uighur Muslims by the authorities.”
“Knowing how lightly China takes the assurances it has given, many colleagues are even more uncomfortable about a role for Huawei in our networks.
“Given that, we fervently hope you will end Huawei’s ability to supply the UK’s critical national infrastructure.”
The MPs include former party leader Iain Duncan Smith, ex-cabinet minister David Davis and Bob Seely
Mr Seely also warned that the government would face a backlash if the deadline was pushed back until the end of the decade.
He said: “If there isn’t a date after which telecoms companies cannot install Huawei kit, parliamentarians will be concerned that Huawei and China could continue to insert kit whilst lobbying hard to reverse government decisions.”
Yesterday BT chief Philip Jansen warned of possible “outages” if they are ordered to remove all Huawei products which help run 3G and 4G networks over security risks.
He said: “I think that’s impossible to do in under ten years.”
Huawei has always denied that it poses any security risk and insists that it is a private company free from Chinese state control.