Norbert Rottgen, the chairman of the Bundestag’s influential foreign affairs committee, insisted the bloc should stand by Britain in its tough stance on China. In a major policy u-turn, the Prime Minister and his National Security Council opted to ban the Chinese tech giant for the UK’s digital infrastructure. Huawei’s hardware must be ripped out of the country’s network by 2027 amid national security concerns.
Mr Rottgen said: “The UK decided to remove Huawei from its networks by 2027.
“Today Chinese state media call for ‘public and painful’ retaliation against the UK.
“The irony: European companies haven’t been allowed to roll our 5G in China either.
“The EU should be clear in standing by the UK on this.”
European capitals are divided on how to handle the Chinese government-backed firm introducing its technology onto the Continent.
France has said it will not be Huawei equipment from the country’s 5G network infrastructure.
But Paris has urged operators not to use it and is only granting temporary authorisations up to eight years to those companies that already do.
Guillaume Poupard, head of the French cybersecurity agency Anssi, last week said: “What I can say is there won’t be a total ban.
“But for operators that are not currently using Huawei, we urge them not to go for it.”
In Germany the government is largely divided over Huawei, with some members wanting to exclude the firm’s technology altogether for 5G.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel , however, has remained neutral to China because of her country’s huge reliance on exports.
MUST READ: BBC’s Emily Maitlis loses it in fiery clash with UK Huawei chief
Washington has also moved to impose sweeping sanctions on Huawei in the US.
Explaining the UK Government’s decision, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden yesterday said: “The best way to secure our networks is for operators to stop using new affected Huawei equipment to build the UK’s future 5G networks.”
Ed Brewster, a spokesman for Huawei, said: “This threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide.”