England designates Iceland as a terrorist country

New York Times story here.

This is related to Iceland’s banking collapse. Apparently England wanted assutrance that Iceland could cover the insured amounts of deposits of collapsing Icelandic branches in Great Britain. Somewhat like the FDIC, all accounts in England are supposed to be insured so depositors don’t lose everything.

According to Iceland, they said they needed more time meet their obligation, as covering those costs amount to more than 60% of their GDP. According to England, Iceland said, “we have no intention of meeting our obligations”.

Anyway, it seems that declaring a country is supporting terrorism is a shortcut to seizing whatever assets it has in reach. Which is what England has now done with the banks on its territory.

And, the designation shuts down most of the remaining international banking transactions and credit available to Iceland. So all the sudden they are extra-fucked.

Holy crap! I wonder whether WormTheRed is okay. :frowning:

This sounds exactly like one of those asshole pull-the-plug-instead-of-working-it-though things that cause the mess it was allegedly trying to avoid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Are they trying to restart the Vikings?

Maybe Canada should start accepting refugees?

As usual, the Government has taken over 1000 years to come to this conclusion. :smiley:

This is weeks-old news. And it’s the UK, not England. And FWIW a lot of people here were not happy about invoking this law against Iceland. It could have been handled more diplomatically.

Boy, there’s the understatement of the century.

What the UK is doing is disgusting. It’s a disgrace to their name, the Crown, and their reputation. You’d think Vladimir Putin had been elected Prime Minister. It borders on open belligerence. How proud they should be for bullying a helpless little nation.


Good God–what good can come from this? Whose decision was it? (parliment, house of lords, the PM, who?)

Woah, I wouldn’t go that far. It may have been graceless, but OTOH Britain has 200 times the population of Iceland, so it is reasonable for the British government to place the needs of its citizens above the stability of a country equivalent in population to a small British city. Many British citizens stand to lose money if the Icelandic banks go under. It would have been remiss of the government to do nothing. But I agree that we should have been more tactful with them.

Couldn’t agree more. If anybody needs an example of “function creep” to argue against dranconian ‘anti-terrorism’ laws, here’s a prime example.

To be fair, the Bank of England offered a £100m loan to Landsbanki to help them out. Then the Icelandic government said it would deal with Icelandic customers first, leaving something like £1B worth of UK public funds (councils, police forces, schools etc) and untold millions in deposits from UK citizens vulnerable. The UK treasury had no option but to seize the Icelandic assets to protect the UK public. It’s unfortunate that the law that governs the seizure of assets is in the “Anti-terrorism, crime and security act 2001” but it most certainly doesn’t “declare Iceland a terrorist nation or a supporter of terrorism”, that is just the way that the Icelandic government has chosen to portray the move because they’re going to get hammered in their next election.

Can we agree that it’s rather problematic in the long term that the PM decided to pick and choose which act to invoke, like he’s ordering a curry?

This is the relevant quote from the news story:

Now, if this is the right place, I can’t find such a list there. That’s not to say there wasn’t one a couple weeks back that’s been pulled down for political reasons.

What could he have done that would get your approval?

Which other Act contains the provision to seize assets?

I think an outright declaration of war would take care of that nicely. :slight_smile:

The Cod Wars got really nasty, Icelandic naval ships fired on UK fisherman and unarmed fishery support vessels sheltering from a storm.

Seriously? Did they hit anybody?

Icelandic and UK ships collided due to the storm, but the actual shots missed.

Look, if the UK’s alternatives were to either declare Iceland a terrorist state and seize its assets, or not seize the assets of an ally under false pretenses, I think it’s bloody obvious what the right thing to do here was. The UK’s actions are sickening, especially when you consider that UK law doesn’t even provide for the seizure of assets in this situation.

Not with over £1B in public funds at risk. Inaction wasn’t an option.

They had already tried offering funds to support the failing bank, and that didn’t help.

What were the false pretenses? The seizure may have been made under the Terrorism act, but everybody is aware of the real reasons for the seizure, and the UK governments has never implied otherwise. If billions of pounds of your nation’s money is going to disappear up the swanny, why shouldn’t the government step in and start seizing assets? Isn’t this precisely why we elect governments?

This is the current list - link - clearly stating that the asset freezing measures taken against Landsbanki are not related to terrorist or country-based financial sanctions. However, on the Icelanders are NOT terrorists protest site there’s a screen shot showing that until the 22nd of October, no distinction was made in that list. A balls up, sure, but a balls up on a web page isn’t exactly the same thing as declaring Iceland a terrorist state.

On preview, here’s the Beeb’s take on it all. Note that while the Government used The Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, the Act itself is very broad:

UK Governments have long made a habit of using whatever Act comes to hand to do what it wants to get done and one should never trust that an Act’s name bears much of a relation to what it actually does. The language is normally designed to readily allow for feature creep.