David Cameron makes Falklands pledge
Friday 23 December 2011
David Cameron today pledged Britain would never surrender sovereignty of the Falklands against the wishes of the islanders.
In his Christmas message to the islands, the Prime Minister said he could not accept challenges by Argentina to their right to self-determination.
He condemned what he described as "unjustified and counterproductive" efforts by the government in Buenos Aires to disrupt shipping links to the islands.
His intervention comes after Argentina led a group of South American nations in banning ships flying the Falklands flag from docking at their ports.
In his message, Mr Cameron declared: "Whatever challenges we face in the UK, the British Government's commitment to the security and prosperity of the overseas territories, including the Falklands, remains undiminished.
"So let me be absolutely clear. We will always maintain our commitment to you on any question of sovereignty. Your right to self-determination is the cornerstone of our policy.
"We will never negotiate on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless you, the Falkland Islanders, so wish. No democracy could ever do otherwise."
The ban on Falklands-flagged ships by the Mercosur bloc - which also includes Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay - is the latest flare-up between Britain and Argentina over the islands.
Buenos Aires - which has long claimed sovereignty over the territory it calls the Malvinas - reacted angrily last year when Britain allowed offshore drilling for oil in the islands' waters.
The Argentinians were also irritated by the recent announcement of Prince William's forthcoming RAF posting to the islands.
Mr Cameron insisted he wanted a "constructive relationship" with Argentina, but said that its attitude to the Falklands was unacceptable.
"Argentina continues its unjustified and counterproductive efforts to disrupt shipping around the islands and to deter business from engaging in legitimate commerce," he said.
"Threats to cut communication links between the islands and your neighbours in South America only reflect badly on those who make them.
"I firmly believe that it is in our interests that we have a constructive relationship with Argentina. There is common ground to be found on issues like the global economy and climate change.
"We want to work with Argentina on those issues. But the Argentine government has continued to make statements which challenge your right to self-determination, and we can never accept that."
- 1 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 4 Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
The man who sold Minecraft to Microsoft for £2.5 billion says it's made him miserable
Nazi 'gold train': Fire engulfs suspected location of vehicle in Poland
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...