The incident occurred in the House of Commons and involved UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox and Labour MP Thomas Docherty, as was reported by James Kirkup in the Daily Telegraph.
Liam Fox is in the Commons talking about the Anglo-French defence deal struck this week during the PM David Cameron and French president Nicholas Sarkozy summit in London.
MP Thomas Docherty asked a well-worn question about Britain’s ability to defend the Falkland Islands in future. After all, UK won’t have a working aircraft carrier until 2020, and will even then frequently have to rely on a French carrier when the Royal navy is in dock for maintenance.
It’s a familiar question for Dr Fox and he is well used to answering it. Indeed, he started in the usual way. “The defence of the Falkland Islands depends on our ability to deter,” he said pointing out that the Tornado fighter-bombers and hunter-killer subs are on hand to deter any future Argentine aggression.
But then he went further, and said this:
“There are those who ask, ‘Do we have a plan to retake the Falklands?’ No more than we have a plan to retake Kent, because we have no intention of losing it.”
Kirkup ends the anecdote with a brief comment: “Hmm. I see the point he’s making there. But I wonder, given how excited people can get about the Falklands, whether it was wholly prudent to suggest that Britain has no plan for retaking the Falklands…