Sir Iain Duncan Smith welcomes the decision to eradicate Huawei from the 5G system

14th July 2020

Sir Iain Duncan Smith welcomes the decision to eradicate Huawei from the 5G system, but urges the Government to speed up the process and to go further to include the 3G and 4G networks.

I welcome the decision to eradicate Huawei from the 5G system, but I think that the Secretary of State can do it quicker than he says. I was listening to the “Today” programme the other day, and the head of BT said seven years, yes, but it could be done in five. Let us bring it forward to five, and make sure that it happens quickly. There is no reason why that cannot be done. The key point I want to make is that there are two contradictions in the Secretary of State’s statement. Having said that he is getting rid of Huawei in 5G, it is apparently fine for it to continue in 4G and 3G; it can go on for as long as anyone. It will be upgraded in software upgrades for the next decade. If it is a risk in 5G, why is it not a risk to us generally? Secondly, on human rights, we know that Huawei has lied in its declaration under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 that it has had no involvement in slavery. We know that now from Xinjiang Province. If we can prove that and are able to demonstrate it to this Government, will this Government ban Huawei altogether?

My right hon. Friend raises the distinction between 4G, 3G and 5G. First, 5G is the new technology. It is the successor to 3G and 4G. Indeed, as he said to this House previously, the reality of the 5G network is that it is fundamentally different, and it is a recognition of that fundamental difference that we are imposing these rules in respect of 5G. Of course, over time, 5G will be the replacement network and then, in turn, 5G will be replaced by 6G and, in all of that, Huawei will be absent.

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