British soldiers
Britain sends cash as a \'contingency measure\' for military families in case ATMs and debit cards stop working

A plane has left from the UK with one million euros in cash, heading for the island of Cyprus, according to a BBC News report.

"An RAF flight is heading for the island as "a contingency plan to provide military personnel and their families with emergency loans if cash machines and debit cards stop working," said an MoD spokesman.

"We will keep this under review and consider further shipments if required.

"We are determined to do everything we can to minimise the impact of the Cyprus banking crisis on our people"

The MoD is proactively approaching personnel to ask if they want their March and future salaries paid into UK bank accounts rather than Cypriot accounts.

There is speculation that this is just the beginning of cash-loaded flights from the UK, and more may follow.

Chancellor George Osborne has already said the UK will compensate any British troops in Cyprus hit by plans to introduce the bank levy.

Banks in Cyprus are remaining closed until Thursday. The Cypriot government are due to vote later today on the exact plan that the will put into place, after the outrage from Cypriots about the initial plan.

Cyprus needs a 10bn euro (£8.7bn; $13bn) bailout to rescue its banks.

Nicholas Papadopoulos, a member of the Cypriot government and Chairman of the Finance and Budget Committee in the House of Representatives, told BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast that the vote is a 'lose, lose situation' for Cyprus.

A spokesperson for the governing Democratic Rally (Disy) party of President Nicos Anastasiades revealed before the debate has even started that its MPs have decided to abstain, rather than support the package.

With the rest of the parliament expected to vote against it, this is a major display of defiance from Nicosia against the eurozone.

Meanwhile, German stocks fell for a third day before Cypriot lawmakers meet to discuss the multi-billion euro bank-deposit levy needed to get a bailout.