"The vote is unlikely to upset an International Monetary Fund programme or bilateral loans. But it may tempt the Dutch and British to stall Iceland’s European Union membership bid. It would be a tragic mistake to punish a country for claiming its right to resolve a legal dispute in a court of law – or demonstrating that it is possible to let overstretched banks fail. At the time of the collapse, people said Iceland and Ireland differed only by one letter and a few weeks. Their views on picking up the bill for banks show the difference is more instructive than that."