Pompeo warns UK over Huawei decision

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has heaped further pressure on the UK government ahead of a "momentous" decision on whether China’s Huawei can build parts of the UK’s 5G infrastructure.

The prime minister is due to make a final call over the controversial Chinese telecoms company’s involvement in the coming days.

The Trump administration and many backbench MPs have warned the UK not to go ahead with Huawei equipment, amid allegations over the company’s links to the Chinese state, with the US arguing that the hardware could open the door to spying and compromise data sovereignty.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Boris Johnson is understood to have received advice from top security and Whitehall officials that allowing Huawei access to limited ‘non-core’ parts of the 5G network would not run the risk of compromising national security, according to reports over the weekend.

However, Pompeo waded directly into the row last night, after retweeting a Twitter post made by Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, a former Army officer who is vying for the position of chairman of the foreign affairs select committee.

Tugendhat tweeted: “Sovereignty means control of data as much as land. We need to decide what we’re willing to invest in and who were willing to share our tech with. The real costs will come later if we get this wrong and allow Huawei to run 5G."

Pompeo shared the Tweet with his 1.3 million followers, adding: “The UK has a momentous decision ahead on 5G. British MP Tom Tugendhat gets it right."

Pompeo is due to meet with Johnson this week, where he is expected to make representations in person over the decision, with speculation that a move in defiance of Washington could damage the prime minister’s hopes of a swift free Post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

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