CMEC Statement following flight ban on Laptops – 22nd March 2017
Following the announcement by the British Government of a flight ban on Laptops affecting six Middle Eastern countries the Conservative Middle East Council would like to urge the Government to ensure that all measures are taken to mitigate the diplomatic damage that the ban may cause.
CMEC is not in a position to make a judgement on the security basis of the ban and has every confidence that the relevant agencies have acted to prevent lives being put at risk. CMEC thinks it vital that real efforts are made – at ministerial level – to assuage the concerns and possible offence taken by our allies in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey.
Our allies must be reassured that this measure is taken with the protection of all passengers – not just British Citizens - in mind. This is particularly the case in Egypt, where due to the fact that the ban on direct flights from the UK to Sharm El Sheikh is now in its 18th month there is a rising feeling among many Egyptians that it is in some way politically motivated.
All efforts must be made to reassure our allies that this is a not a political issue but one of security and that the laptop ban is an inconvenient but very necessary mutual security measure, implemented in the interest of travellers from all of the countries affected.
The Rt Hon Sir Hugo Swire KCMG MP, Chairman, Conservative Middle East Council
Charlotte Leslie MP, Vice Chairman, Conservative Middle East Council