UK decision on Huawei not set in stone, British minister says

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, July 3, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s decision to allow China’s Huawei to play a limited role in building its 5G network is not “fixed in stone” and is being reviewed following the imposition of U.S. sanctions, culture minister Oliver Dowden said on Monday.

Britain granted Huawei a limited role in its future 5G networks in January but officials at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have since studied the impact of the U.S. measures that were announced in May.

Dowden told Sky News the sanctions, designed to restrict the ability of Huawei to source advanced microchips for 5G equipment, is likely to have a significant impact on the reliability of the supplier.

“It is not fixed in stone, we constantly review our security to ensure we have the best possible security for our telecoms network,” he said.

Dowden declined to comment on reports that officials were drawing up proposals to stop installing Huawei equipment and said any decision would be announced in parliament.

“If the U.S impose sanctions which they have done, we believe that could have a significant impact on the reliability of Huawei equipment and whether we can use it safely,” he said.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden

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