Thousands of residents of South West Essex and North West Kent have fled from their homes this afternoon after last-minute peace talks between the Lakeside and Bluewater shopping centres broke down. 

After more than eleven hours of discussions and negotiations in a conference suite at the Dartford Hilton Hotel, no agreement was reached to withdraw the surface-to-air missiles that are currently on standby on both sides.

In a statement, UN Special Peace Envoy Marshall Kissinger-Annan released a statement to confirm that no truce had been reached.

He said: ‘It is with regret that leading generals from both shopping centres have been unable to resolve their differences through diplomatic measures.’

‘Both sides have now resolved to push ahead with military action, and so we are advising people in the surrounding areas to consider moving from their homes to a place of safety.’

‘Today’s meeting was very much a final attempt to avoid a full-scale military conflict.’

‘Previous attempts at shuttle diplomacy have failed due to traffic congestion at the Dartford Crossing.’

Missile strikes across The Thames are now looking almost ‘100% certain,’ and many experts feel that this is the only solution after the original disagreement between Lakeside and Bluewater over who could have the highest number of mobile phone case pop-up units in March.

A representative from IKEA in the neighbouring West Thurrock Retail Park confirmed that all flammable MDF-based products are being moved to a place of safety as a precaution.’

Both shopping centres have been keen to stress that it is very much ‘business as usual’ at the moment, with witnesses on the ground confirming that the Sky TV man is still asking everyone if they want Sky TV even thought they all keep telling him that they already have Sky TV.