≡ Menu

Are Iceland and the UK headed for another diplomatic collision?

Two posts in a couple of hours is undoubtedly a record for YT, but this just in: according to The Guardian the UK yesterday submitted an application for unilateral claim to the seabed around the area known as Rockall, which the UK, Iceland, Ireland and the Faroe Islands have been negotiating ownership over for years. The Rockall area is potentially rich in oil.

According to The Guardian, the action will potentially set the UK on a “diplomatic collision course” with Iceland [as though we didn’t have enough strife already *cough* ICESAVE *cough*].

The Guardian report further claims that the UK has abandoned said negotiations, to wit: “We are disappointed that agreement on joint action has not proved possible,” the Foreign Office said. “We hope [other countries] do not feel the need to dispute the UK’s submission.”

Meanwhile, YT has scoured the Icelandic media and found nothing about this. Have just spoken to the press officers of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the PM’s Office and neither of them were aware of the report.

The Guardian report is here.

Meanwhile, The Guardian has asked me to write a short piece on the reaction of the Icelandic public – og því langar mig sérstaklega til að biðja ykkur um álit, góðu landsmenn! Annað hvort í gegn um kommentakerfið eða í tölvupósti.


More on this later. Stay tuned.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mary April 1, 2009, 4:39 pm

    Isn’t it interesting that we in the UK measure the 350 mile distance from the Isle of St Kilda which is miles out to sea?

  • Vikingisson April 1, 2009, 6:51 pm

    Maybe no mention because it isn’t a big story yet. Politicians shaking swords and hinting at possible issues over an area that might have oil. On 1 April.
    But a few days after hearing about Rockall going up for oil drilling licenses. Iceland, oil, Hummer, 1 April.

    Even the kreppa must take a holiday.

  • James April 2, 2009, 12:49 am

    It’s merely a consequence of Queen Elizabeth II’s decision that she now owns everything within a circle defined by Greenwich in the centre and the Falkland Islands on the perimeter. Hopefully others will not feel the need to dispute that.

  • GB April 2, 2009, 1:51 am

    It’s due to a May deadline for such filings. Britain has been trying to keep its dreams of empire alive however it might be able to, while clawing desperately for any sources of revenues with which to pay off Icesavers and kaputhing claimants when those cases make the courts and the payments, with interests, are ordered. See for additional information on Britain’ s mad scrambling to claim anywhere with oil potential.

    In the end look for Chile to own the Malvenas after Britain’s fleet runs out of fuel off Venezuela, with no one who can speak Spanish on board, while Argentina looks on, waiting in vain for the Brits to show, so they may win this time, and for the Faroes to retain Rockall, and get the Orkneys and Shetlands from Britain for reparitions for it having the cheek to make such a silly claim.

    As for Iceland, well, when you have crucified the reincarnation of the Odd Christ…

  • GB April 2, 2009, 2:30 am

    Part II:
    It looks like your comment system blows off links. You will have to google for the information about Britain making the same kinds of claims in the South Atlantic off South America.

    Meanwhile, There are jobs shaping up in Canada for seamen with ocean barge experience, to float David’ s new factory down the St. Lawrence and over past Nova Scotia, Greenland and whatever that landmass is west of Reykjavik.

  • alda April 2, 2009, 10:08 am

    GB – FYI Icesave and Kaupthing claimants have all been compensated.

  • Ljósmynd DE April 2, 2009, 11:30 am

    “Icesave and Kaupthing claimants have all been compensated”

    Another April gag? As far as Kaupthing Germany is concerned, there hasn’t been any compensation by now. There seem to be some unresolved quarrels in the way.

    But, of course Iceland should reclaim Rockall. You might send over some of your elves and trolls to do this business on your behalf. 😉

  • kilnamona April 2, 2009, 11:53 am

    britannia waves the rules

  • alda April 2, 2009, 12:00 pm

    LDE – apologies! I just assumed that it was the same as in the UK, that the government had compensated the claimants, to be reclaimed back from Icelandic authorities later.

  • Steve UK April 2, 2009, 4:18 pm

    At the risk of looking like I’m on GB’s side, I think you’ll find that he meant the Icelandic banks’ claims against the UK government.

    No-one can have a problem with any of this claim business, surely? After all, it really is everyone for themselves on this – if you don’t try to get what you can, it just goes to someone else who does. Just look at the other claims. One of those is Iceland, many miles away and with a tiny population. Then there’s the Faroe Islands (who seem to be trying to claim most of the Atlantic by saying their islands are the tops of undersea mountains).

  • namme April 2, 2009, 5:54 pm

    I don’t know, in the case of Rockall I think maybe it will come down to the issue of ‘Might is Right.’ I mean, I don’t really see Iceland or the Faroes able to defend the sovereignty (or well, I’m not sure if they’d really bother to defend it) of a rock in the middle of the sea. I know there are oil and gas interests and what not, but I really see the UK winning on this issue, or maybe Ireland. Who really deserves to own the rock in the first place? It’s uninhabited save for some seabirds.

    Secondly, to GB I don’t know if you were being sarcastic or not, but I don’t really know why anyone would have an issue with the Falkland Islands being British… Well besides the Argentines that is. They were settled by Brits (mostly), speak English, and identify as British. They just happen to be really far away.

    AND if ANYONE gets to claim the Shetland Islands, it’s totally Norway. They have a deal, I’m just waiting for them to buy them back from Scotland. Woo.

    /end weird rant. really, that was weird.

  • Peter Norton April 4, 2009, 8:47 am

    @kilmanoma More a case of Brittania waives the rules as usual.
    Alda What does interest me is what effect the banking crash and currency crash has had on ordinary people. Seeing that a lot of other countries seem to be heading the same way, an article on that in the Guardian might attract a real debate. Mind you it would certainly attract a lot more nasty people which maybe you don’t want!

  • Steve UK April 7, 2009, 10:59 pm

    A belated followup, but I’ve just found a map that seems to cover this on the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Worth a look. Note the huge red lined area which seems to be Iceland’s bid to take over the Atlantic.