DONALD Trump boasted that he had a “tough talk” with Boris Johnson over banning Huawei.
The US President gave an interview in which he said he told PM Boris that he could “forget about Scotland Yard” if Britain went ahead with its 5G deal with the telecoms giant.
Trump told Fox News: “I had a big talk and a tough talk with Boris and I said if you do that system you can forget about Scotland Yard, frankly, because we can’t do business with you.
“And they were all set to do it and they terminated it.”
The president did not clarify what he meant by “forget Scotland Yard”, but it was thought it could be a nod towards intelligence sharing between the two countries.
Under the ‘Five Eyes’ agreement, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US co-operate on intelligence sharing.
Last month Britain announced an all-out ban on Huawei’s 5G gear, following a lobbying campaign led by Washington DC.
The UK Government decided to ban the purchase of new 5G equipment from Huawei from January onwards and to force operators to rip out existing Huawei kit by 2027.
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, said: “We have to have confidence in the security and resilience of the infrastructure on which (new technologies) are built.”
He had initially decided to allow Huawei to sell a limited amount of equipment for non-sensitive parts of Britain’s 5G networks.
But he made the U-turn after pressure from the US, which warned of security concerns about the firm and the influence of the Chinese government.
Concerns were raised that its wireless networking equipment could contain backdoors enabling surveillance by Beijing.
Following Britain’s change in policy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the decision.
He said: “The PM’s decision was reflective of what he believes is in the best interests of the people of the UK and I have no doubt about that.
“We had a number of conversations about a broad range of issues, not all of which we agree on, not all of which we have come to the same conclusion about.
“I think the UK made a good decision but that right decision was made not because the US said but because the leadership in the UK concluded the right thing to do was to make that decision for the people of the UK.”
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