UK Govt ‘Considering Policy Impact’ Of Brotherhood Probe Findings

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The results of a British probe into the Muslim Brotherhood are being carefully considered, to assess the possible implications for UK policies, the British government has said.

On 17 April, UK Prime Minister David Cameron asked different British security, intelligence and diplomatic services to conduct a review of the Islamic movement.

The purpose of the review was to “produce an internal report for the prime minister to inform government policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Although the review was completed at the end of July, the government has not yet announced the results, with some reports suggesting differences of opinion among government departments.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) rejected speculation that the results have been delayed.

“It is only right that it be carefully considered by the government,” an FCO spokesperson told Ahram Online.

The spokesperson refused to set a date for any official announcement of the results, adding that the government has never set a date.

While the spokesperson repeated that the government is still committed to make the main findings of the review public, she said this will happen “in due course.”

“Work is underway across the government to consider the implications of its findings,” she said, referring to the report.

The spokesperson declined to give details of any expected implications.

The government said the scope of the review covered the Muslim Brotherhood’s origins, philosophy, activities, record in and out of government in Egypt, and its organisation and activities in the UK and abroad which might put at risk, damage, or risk damaging UK national interests.

Led by Sir John Jenkins, the UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the review looked into the British government’s current policy and its allies’ approaches and policies towards the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is understood the Muslim Brotherhood has been consulted by the review team and has submitted evidence to it.

In December 2013, Egypt declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, while Saudi Arabia followed suit in March of this year.

The UK government has however rejected Egyptian requests to ban the movement on British soil, where the Brotherhood maintains an active media office.

The FCO spokesperson refused to comment on reports that the government recently refused entry visas to a number of Brotherhood leaders and activists, pending the results of the review. She said the UK government does not comment on individual cases.

However, she explained, “The home secretary has the power to exclude a non-British citizen from the UK where she considers that the individual’s presence in the UK would not be conducive to the public good.”

“The home secretary will use these powers when justified and based on all available evidence,” she said.

Source : Ahram online