American concerns about Huawei’s involvement in building the UK 5G network “WILL be resurrected during Brexit trade negotiations” with Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, not until June
- US officials met British colleagues in number 10 yesterday to discuss Huawei
- The US delegation reportedly said that Brexit trade negotiations will be linked to the Huawei problem
- But Downing Street insisted that the US did not connect the two issues
- Comes amid growing tory anger about granting Huawei’s role in the UK 5G network
American concerns about the UK’s decision to give Huawei a role in building Britain’s 5G network will be raised during Brexit trade negotiations between the two parties, it is claimed.
A delegation of US officials met No. 10 in the UK yesterday and reportedly made it clear that the two issues could be linked.
A source told The Telegraph: “The Americans have impressed us that the free trade agreement should be part of this Huawei discussion.”
Boris Johnson, pictured at a cabinet meeting last week, announced at the end of January that Huawei would have a limited role in the UK 5G network
That decision led to anger in the US with senior Donald Trump allies, pictured at a meeting in Phoenix on Wednesday, making it clear that the decision will affect information sharing
Downing Street, however, rejected that version of the events and said it was not true that the US delegation had said that the Huawei line would affect trade negotiations.
Boris Johnson announced at the end of January that the Chinese technology giant would have a limited role in the UK 5G network.
The decision led to anger at the White House because the US government urged its allies not to do business with Huawei due to security issues.
Those concerns have always been rejected by Huawei, but the US has made it clear that allowing a role for the company will affect sharing information with the UK.
The Huawei line is one of a number of conflict points that have arisen between the UK and the US in recent months.
And in a sign of potential tension between the two allies, a generally-expected American visit by Mr. Johnson has now been canceled in the spring.
The Prime Minister spoke to Mr. Trump last night and the couple agreed to see each other in June.
A spokesperson for Downing Street said: “The Prime Minister and President Trump spoke tonight and discussed a number of bilateral and international issues.
“The leaders reiterated their commitment to the relationship between the UK and the US and were looking forward to seeing each other at the G7 summit in June in the United States.”
It was thought that Mr. Johnson could travel to the US in March to meet Mr. Trump.
Johnson is faced with an increasing backlash from his own MPs about the Huawei decision.
Senior Tory figures have demanded from ministers that they follow “deadly serious” warnings from the US to limit intelligence sharing.
A delegation led by Mr. Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (top right) met key no. 10 yesterday to discuss Huawei
Owen Paterson, the former cabinet minister, said the government’s attitude toward the Chinese technology giant was “incomprehensible”, given the White House’s opposition to using the company.
Paterson is one of many conservative MPs who insist that Downing Street reverse its support for Huawei.
Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff had crunch talks with number 10 officials on Huawei yesterday.
Mick Mulvaney is supposed to have led a delegation of US officials in a meeting with British colleagues, including Sir Edward Lister, one of Mr. Johnson’s top advisers.
The meeting came after Mr Mulvaney told an event on Wednesday evening that the UK 5G decision on Huawei would have a “direct and dramatic impact” on intelligence sharing with the US.