National security concerns focus on arm of Vodafone that provides sensitive tech to government departments and agencies.
Vodafone should be forced to spin off its most sensitive activities in order to quash national security concerns raised by a United Arab Emirates-backed telecoms group swooping on its shares, government officials have told the Guardian.
The deputy prime minister, Oliver Dowden, announced on Wednesday that the deal involving Emirates Telecommunications Group building a 14.6% stake in Vodafone presented a “national security risk” to the UK due to Vodafone’s role “as a strategic supplier of services” to government departments, including those “which are in support of national security”.
Dowden said on Friday the government had reached an agreement on measures to manage security risks, without giving details. The government “has put in place proportionate measures to address any potential national security concerns”, he said, adding that the UK was “rightly a magnet for global investment”.
However, officials and sources familiar with operations at Vodafone said breaking off some operations would still be safest for the UK.
Read more: theguardian.com