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US urges UK to reverse Huawei decision – but EU has more bad news for Trump

The US secretary of state has said that US information should only pass through trusted networks.

Mr Pompeo, who is due to meet the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday, said there was “a chance for the United Kingdom to relook at this [decision] as implementation moves forward”.

“We will make sure that when American information passes across a network we are confident that that network is a trusted one, ” he added.

5g explained
Explained: Why 5G and Huawei matter

The British government has stated that Huawei equipment will not be used at all within networks used to transmit sensitive information or near sensitive sites such as power stations.

Mr Pompeo’s comments came after a further embarrassment to the American lobbying effort as security guidelines published by the European Commission followed the British decision on Tuesday in allowing Huawei to help build high-speed 5G networks.

At the time of the UK decision, a Trump administration official said the US was “disappointed” and the White House was left facing pressure to review its intelligence-sharing relationship with Britain.

The technical and strategic measures outlined by the EU document recommend that equipment from high-risk vendors such as Huawei is banned from “critical and sensitive” parts of 5G telecommunication networks.

More from European Union

But the company will still be able to provide equipment such as radio and microwave antennas towards the edge or “non-core” parts of the infrastructure.

The EU will also require companies to have strategies to keep their supply chains diverse.

The decision regarding Huawei has prompted internal arguments across Europe, especially in Germany where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative ruling party are split on the topic.

According to a report in the Handelsblatt newspaper, intelligence shared with the German government by the US shows Huawei “cooperated with China’s security authorities”.

This evidence was described as the “smoking gun” which meant equipment from Chinese companies should be prohibited from being installed as part of the telecommunications infrastructure.

However, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre said on Tuesday that the risk from the company was manageable.

Responding to the UK’s decision on Tuesday, Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate intelligence select committee, said: “Here’s the sad truth: our special relationship is less special now that the UK has embraced the surveillance state commies at Huawei.”

Tom Cotton, another Republican senator on the committee, said Britain’s decision would be “like allowing the KGB to build its telephone network during the Cold War”.

He called for the US to conduct a “thorough review of US-UK intelligence sharing”.

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