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Iceland could be facing a political and financial crisis after voters appeared to have rejected a referendum on a plan to repay debts to Britain and the Netherlands for a second time.

With partial results in, the “no” camp had a safe lead, delivering a stinging blow to parliament which had overwhelmingly backed the internationally-negotiated deal.

The debt was incurred when Icesave, a subsidiary of Landsbanki, collapsed in late 2008, and Britain and the Netherlands compensated their nationals who lost 3.9 billion euros in savings.