What Brexit has put aside, Huawei seems to join.
Yesterday morning, former Conservative Leader Iain Duncan Smith led a debate on the involvement of Chinese society in the UK’s 5G infrastructure. He was accompanied by many Conservative MPs you would expect – Leavers colleagues David Davis, Bob Seely and Owen Paterson – and many others you might not be able to. It’s probably been a long time since Tom Tugendhat or Damian Green found themselves nodding to new GRE president Mark Francois, but at Westminster Hall, the two sides were aligned.
“As the UK leaves the EU, we must avoid bowing to China or anyone else in this regard,” IDS told colleagues. “If the defense of the kingdom is the priority, what the government is proposing is a semi-defense of the kingdom and that will simply not be enough.”
Alongside the Conservatives, there were several opposition MPs, including Alex Sobel of Labor, who criticized Huawei’s “wolf work culture”, warning: “The government can choose to release the wolf in our country, but cannot be surprised when he is then bitten. ”
Ruth Edwards, Ken Clarke’s successor as MP for Rushcliffe, who worked at BT, was a rare voice in favor of the government, telling colleagues that “there are no trusted suppliers” and the question is to know how to manage the risks. It has convincingly demonstrated how the restrictions that are imposed, including the 35% market capitalization, will tame Huawei and keep this risk controlled.
But she, along with Culture Minister Matt Warman, has done little to ease concerns about the security of the UK and its position in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance.
Yesterday was just the latest in what appears to be a growing movement against the government, with a source describing “a concerted effort underway to shed new blood” and strip Huawei of telecommunications infrastructure. UK.
Last week, a “Dear Colleagues” email was sent by Davis to all Conservative MPs, with the exception of top members and those in the lower ranks. He warned them against the “critical” question and urged them to “get involved”.
Then there were “quiet meetings” with foreign providers and counterparts to try to better understand the situation.
Calculators believe they need just over 40 conservatives to run a rebellion.
There were maybe half of them at Westminster Hall, but many others would be nice.
Efforts are currently underway to gain support for some of the recent departures from Cabinet, as any indication from former ministers that everything is not going well could give a huge boost – a reminder, if Johnson needed it, that the demotions forced always come with a health warning.
Former business secretary Andrea Leadsom should not change her tune – her former cabinet colleagues recall that she was generally positive about this decision. But those who sat around the table with Sajid Javid when he was interior minister described him as having doubts, one saying that he was “very skeptical” at the time, although he did. publicly supported during his last days in power.
The suggestion – or perhaps more hope – is now that it is no longer bound by collective responsibility, the ex-chancellor will return to his original point of view and could influence those who are still on the fence, ready for the next big battle.