Iceland APPG Fact Finding visit

On the 30th June 2011, Fabian began a three day fact-finding visit to Iceland with four other MPs. Fabian had organised the visit on behalf of Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell (Labour), chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Iceland. The purpose of the visit was to investigate the current state of the Icelandic economy following the collapse of the country's banks in 2008 and to determine the likelihood of lost UK investments being repaid. Together with Fabian and Austin the delegation included Sheffield MP Meg Munn (Labour), Bradford MP Marsha Singh (Labour) and Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil (SNP).

The delegation met the Governor of the Bank of Iceland, Már Guðmundsson who was appointed following the crisis after a previous career in the Swiss Banking industry. MPs visited Althing (Parliament in Iceland) to meet the Speaker, the Interior Minister Ögmumdur Jónasson (the equivalent of the UK Home Secretary) and the Foreign Minister Össur Skarphedinson.

APPG members were heartened to learn that the economy in Iceland has turned the corner and the traditional sources of income, fishing and tourism have held up and are growing. In addition they found that the Icelandic people and their government are very conscious of their debt obligations notwithstanding the referendum that prevented the government immediately compensating the UK British savers whose deposits in Icelandic banks were lost. The Icelandic banks are now all nationalised and politicians in Iceland are fully resolved to discharge their country's debt responsibilities just as soon as possible.