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."
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...