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London rejects bill initiative to ensure Falklands’ remain British

Tuesday, January 31st 2012 - 14:05 UTC
Full article 47 comments
Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne will be present in the Falklands for the 30th anniversary Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne will be present in the Falklands for the 30th anniversary

The government has ruled out bringing in a UK law to ensure the Falkland Islands' right to remain British. Tory MP Guy Opperman said legislation would show support for the “unambiguous right to self-determination”.

But Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said existing UN rules offered protection against ongoing territorial claims made by Argentina. He also announced he would visit the Falklands for the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the end of the war.

Fighting after the Argentine invasion in 1982 led to the deaths of 649 Argentine and 255 British servicemen. But Argentina continues to press its claim of sovereignty over the Islands in the South Atlantic.

Tensions have increased recently, with the governments in London and Buenos Aires using stronger language.

Last week Prime Minister David Cameron said Argentina had a “colonialist” attitude to the Falklands, which it calls the Malvinas. This was condemned by Argentina's Senate.

On Tuesday it was announced that the Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dauntless to the Falklands, describing this as a routine deployment.

Bringing a debate in Parliament's Westminster Hall, Mr Opperman, the MP for Hexham in Northumberland, condemned the actions, saying Argentina's behaviour had “no place in the 21st Century”. He added: “I would like a self-determination law, that all territories overseas have an unambiguous right to self-determination.”

He went on: “I would say that Overseas Territories with a settled population have an unambiguous right to remain British and be protected from oppression unless they vote for secession.”

Mr Opperman suggested this law should cover all UK territories including Anguilla, Barbuda, St Helena and Pitcairn. He told his fellow MPs: “It would send out a strong message and signal from this country that self-determination for peoples, where they choose to remain part of Great Britain, is paramount.”

During a sometimes impassioned debate, fellow Conservative MP Bob Stewart said the Argentine government should be told: “Keep your hands off the Falklands. They are British and they are going to remain British.”

Mr Browne, a Liberal Democrat MP, said the government felt “deep disappointment” at Argentina's imposition of a “trade blockade” via the shipping restrictions. He added that he and colleagues had been “extraordinarily active” in protecting the islands' interests.

However, he said the right of peoples to self-determination was enshrined in Article 1.2 of the United Nations Charter and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Falklands' own constitution.

Mr Browne added: “So the British government already has a legal obligation to uphold both the principle, and the practical consequences, of self-determination. So we do not see the need to do additional work in this area.”

An overwhelming majority of Falkland Islanders wish to retain British sovereignty, and 14 June is marked as Liberation Day in the capital Port Stanley.

Mr Browne promised to visit to commemorate the 30th anniversary, adding that it would be “an important and sombre occasion”. (BBC).-
 

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  • MistyThink

    London says:

    There must be right holding of “” self determination“”......

    I say :

    We must recognize the special challenges facing least developed countries,landlocked developing countries,Small Island developing States,Middle Income Countries......!.............

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 03:01 pm 0
  • Teaboy2

    “We must recognize the special challenges facing least developed countries,landlocked developing countries,Small Island developing States,Middle Income Countries......!.............”

    All of which have the right to self determination as enshrined in the UN charter, so yes you should respect the rights of small islands (such as the falklands) along with other territories that which to be either independant or remain under the sovereignty (overseas territory) of another country. Whilst also recognizing the special challenges they may or may not be facing, such as economic blockades by aggressive nighbouring countries.

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 03:11 pm 0
  • briton

    Sounds nice,
    But sadly I do not trust politicians,

    And if the Blair incident was true,
    Then perhaps putting it in British law, would prevent future British politicians from trying to do the same, [would it not]
    Just a thought.
    .

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 03:27 pm 0
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