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Certainly thought provoking. One thing did occur to me though is that irrespective of what the Government states not all currently valid passports hold a chip - for example my own which has another 3 years left before it expires doesn't have a chip.

So it's entirely feasible that the passports used on this occasion also didn't contain chips - and that's probably even more likely if the passport was issued locally by a British Embassy or High Commission.

So I think I would want to know about the actual passports used in Dubai.

If the passports didn't have chips then the government might argue that a chipped passport would have prevented this abuse.

Note added by Chris Pounder

The Foreign Secretary has staed in a news interview that his information is that the passports are not biometric passports. He confirmed that the integrity of the UK passport system was of serious concern and was being investigated by police from SOCA.

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