US President Donald Trump arrives in London today for the start of an official state visit to the UK, which will include talks with outgoing PM Theresa May.
The visit comes as Washington has increased pressure on key European allies over the potential participation of Huawei in the construction of next generation 5G networks. Mr Trump is expected to threaten to limit intelligence sharing with London if the country continues with plans to allow Huawei to participate in 5G network contracts.
While the UK’s intelligence services have claimed that they can mitigate any threats, especially with Huawei still being excluded from providing critical and core network equipment, London is not likely to properly consider Mr Trump’s threat until Theresa May’s successor is in office in the coming months. In the long-term, the UK faces a choice between security and the economics of 5G. While Huawei represents a low-cost and advanced networking option, the threat of losing access to US intelligence sharing as part of the five eyes alliance is likely to see the UK exclude Huawei from all networks at some point in the future.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.