Icelandic volcanic ash alert grounds UK flights - Tension between the UK and Iceland is running high today after Iceland filed a claim in the International courts demanding that countries pay for the volcanic ash currently falling across Europe and disrupting air travel.
"We haven't seen anything like this since the infamous Cod Wars back in the 1970s" said a government spokesman. "We know that Iceland has a problem with its finances, but is this really the way forward?"
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that an emergency ministerial meeting had been called to consider how Britain should react to the challenge. "One option we are investigating is the deployment of large tarpaulin sheets across the countryside to collect the ash, which can then be returned to Iceland scuppering their money-making plans."
Environmental lobby groups immediately rounded on the government claiming that such a plan would plunge the country into darkness, seriously damage the environment and ruin any chances they had of getting a suntan before jetting off on their summer holidays. "Nobody likes being the pasty-faced Brit when they go abroad," said a spokesman for Friends of the Earth.
Any hopes of a diplomatic solution were dashed earlier in the day when a delegation sent to Reykjavik by the EU reported there was reason to believe that the eruption was not all that it seemed.
"There is strong evidence that a nuclear detonation was responsible for the ash cloud. If this is confirmed then the only possible interpretation is that the Icelandic government deliberately engineered the current situation in an effort to raise funds for its ailing banking industry."
The Icelandic Prime Minister, nervously looking up at the cloudless, apart from the ash, sky said, "There is simply no truth to this allegation. The blinding flash and loud bang just before dawn this morning, heard across an area several hundred miles across, was the result of one of the exceptionally big thunderstorms we get at this time of year."