The Falkland Islands will remain British regardless of whether a Brexit deal is achieved, the Foreign Secretary has said.
Jeremy Hunt was asked by Tory Kevin Foster to assert there will be “no question” of undermining the South Atlantic archipelago’s status as British territory.
It followed a suggestion from Argentina’s foreign minister, Jorge Faurie, that the country could take advantage of any no-deal Brexit uncertainty to bring the Falkland Islands under its control.
Mr Foster, MP for Torbay, raised the issue in the Commons during Foreign Office questions.
He said: “Given the extraordinary declaration by the Argentinian foreign minister that Argentina will seek to enhance its claims to the Falklands if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, will (Mr Hunt) confirm, deal or no deal, there will be no question whatsoever of undermining the status of the Falkland Islands as British territory?”
Mr Hunt replied emphatically: “I’m happy to confirm exactly that.”
Mr Faurie told the Telegraph last week: “Our planning for Las Malvinas (the Argentine name for the islands) is to have a negotiation that will enable stronger relations between the people on the islands and the people on the continent.”
“And we hope that the non-Brexit solution will enhance the possibility of that dialogue to be truly one with results.”
“If you think member states (of the EU) would not sustain the Malvinas claim in favour of the UK, we are there … to talk, to negotiate, to see what would be the best solution for the people in the islands to be much more in touch with Argentina.” (PA)