This week the Falkland Islands held a referendum which overwhelmingly backed the islands to remain British. Ever since the war in 1982 there has been a strong element of support for the Islanders and their right to self determination. Indeed a 90% turnout recorded a 99.8% vote in favour of remaining British.
Political difficulties for the President of Argentina has prompted her to divert attention away from domestic issues and raise the temperature over the sovereignty of the Islands. What is often forgotten by Argentina is that there has been a British settlement on the Falkland Islands since before Argentina even existed as a country. It seems that Argentina cares for the territory and not the Islanders themselves.
We are accused by Argentina of the militarisation of the area around the Falklands. Yet it is only the unlawful, aggressive invasion of the Islands by the Argentinians that have made the use of the military necessary.
he position of the Government on this issue is very clear, it is up to the Falkland islanders themselves to decide on whether they want to remain British or not, it is not for Argentina to decide this. During a debate on this issue in the Commons I said that 255 British personnel died to preserve the right to self determination. Anything other than that would therefore be an affront to those men and women.