British security chiefs have cleared Chinese tech giant Huawei for a role in the UK's new 5G phone network, it was reported today, setting up another possible transatlantic clash with Donald Trump.
Top mandarins and figures from the security services have formally recommended granting Huawei a limited role, Reuters said citing multiple sources.
The Trump administration has made no secret of its fears about Chinese spying if Huawei is given a role, but the UK has resisted calls to dump the first - challenging the US to come up with an alternative plan.
The recommendation, made on Wednesday, comes ahead of a meeting of Britain's National Security Council (NSC) next week to decide how to deploy Huawei equipment, the sources said.
The final decision will be made by politicians, but the Prime Minister's official spokesman refused to be drawn on the report today, saying: 'The work on the issue of high-risk vendors in the 5G network remains ongoing.
'When it is complete it will be announced to Parliament.'
Top mandarins and figures from the security services have formally recommended granting Huawei a limited role, Reuters said, citing multiple sources
Mr Johnson is said to be 'comfortable' with allowing Huawei a limited role – excluding it from contracts involving the most sensitive parts of the network – following assurances from British security officials
Last week Government sources told the Daily Mail the (NSC) is set to give the green light to Huawei when it meets.
It follows private warnings from officials that banning the controversial firm could delay the rollout of 5G – the fifth generation of mobile phone technology – by two years and lead to higher prices.
The Trump administration has threatened to limit security co-operation over the issue.
The US is pushing for a blanket ban on Huawei, arguing that the company, which has close links to the Chinese state, cannot be trusted to play a role in sensitive infrastructure.
But Mr Johnson is said to be 'comfortable' with allowing Huawei a limited role – excluding it from contracts involving the most sensitive parts of the network – following assurances from British security officials.