LONDON – The United Kingdom House of Commons voted on Tuesday to reject amendments to the country’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill, proposed by Conservative members of parliament, which would have prevented tech giant Huawei from participating in the establishment of UK’s 5G networks.
In total, 38 rebel Tory (Conservative) lawmakers, including former leader Iain Duncan Smith and long-standing critic of the Chinese tech giant Huawei, Tom Tugendhat, broke party ranks and supported the proposed amendments, RIA Novosti reported.
However, the Commons voted 306-282 to reject the revisions that proposed forbidding “high-risk vendors”, which many consider the Chinese tech giant as being, from the United Kingdom’s 5G telecommunications networks after 2022.
“I’m opposed to the government’s decision on Huawei’s involvement in our telecoms. There are alternatives as Australia, France, the Czech Republic and even Vietnam show. There’s no point in taking back control from Brussels only to hand it over to Beijing,” Tugendhat wrote on Twitter.
London has defied significant pressure from the United States and permitted Huawei partial access to the country’s emerging 5G network market. However, the Chinese tech giant will be excluded from certain “safety-related” and “safety-critical” networks, top UK officials states earlier.
During May last year, the US blacklisted the Chinese tech corporation, claiming that the company intends to provide back-door access for Chinese intelligence services. No evidence whatsoever was provided to back these claims. Yet, the measure is very useful for the US tech companies which are now severely lagging behind in 5G network technologies, which is a stark contrast to the situation from just a few years ago.
The United States has since put a lot of pressure on other nations to follow suit, although these efforts have been rebuffed by countries such as Germany and Canada who have insisted that they will make their own decisions regarding Huawei’s involvement in the next generation of wireless cellular technology.