A Progressive Party MP is unhappy with British PM David Cameron’s visit to Iceland, saying he should have apologised to Iceland on behalf of the UK.
In the wake of Cameron’s meeting with Icelandic PM Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, and being the first British PM in 72 years to set foot in Iceland, one member of parliament who was decidedly not on the welcome wagon is Progressive MP Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, RÚV reports.
Silja, writing on her Facebook, said she believes Cameron should have issued an apology to the Icelandic people for the previous British government’s decision to use the “Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001” to freeze Landsbanki’s assets after Icesave collapsed, in an effort to keep the bank from pulling its funds out of the country. In point of fact, a British economic committee agreed in 2009 that application of the act had been too harsh, and former Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox would apologise to Iceland in 2010 for using the law.
The use of the law was harshly criticised by many Icelanders, who took its application to mean Iceland was being regarded as a terrorist state – something not even the Icelandic president is willing to forgive former British PM Gordon Brown over.
Silja also took issue with Cameron stating, in relation to a long-proposed undersea power cable connecting Iceland and the UK, that Iceland has “more than enough electricity” to export. While Silja may disagree with this assertion, the Icelandic government estimates that 75% of Iceland’s energy is undeveloped.
For his part, Cameron told reporters while in Iceland that the governments of Iceland and the UK should not dwell on the details of the Icesave debacle, during which hundreds of British depositors were not able to withdraw their money from the Landsbanki-owned online bank, prompting the British government to have to cover these deposits themselves.
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