Overseas Territories White Paper reiterates UK determination to defend the Falklands
Britain reiterated its determination to continue to defend the Falkland Islands and other Overseas Territories on Thursday, an official document known as the White Paper said. The document on the Overseas Territories declares there would be no weakening in Britain's resolve.
The paper – which sets out a vision for the future of the British 14 Overseas Territories – was signed by the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague, and pledges to continue to ensure the “sovereignty over the Territories.”
In the text, the UK vows to guarantee the Overseas Territories citizens “right of self-determination” and states the commitment to maintain military presence in order to assure UK’s sovereignty over the South Atlantic territories.
In the South Atlantic, British forces will maintain a defensive military posture to defend the Falklands and other British islands. There will be no weakening of the Government's resolve.
Hague explained the paper was designed to strengthen Britain's engagement with the Territories - which also include Anguilla; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cayman Islands; the sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus; Gibraltar; Montserrat; the Pitcairn Islands; St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands; Turks and Caicos Islands; and the British Virgin Islands.
Today's White Paper is the first review of the Overseas Territories since 1999 and it demonstrates the importance the coalition Government attaches to the Overseas Territories, the foreign official said today.
As well as having a responsibility to ensure the security and good governance of the Territories, we want the Territories to be vibrant, flourishing communities that proudly retain aspects of their British identity.
We appreciate the remarkable diversity of the Territories, each with their own specific attributes, opportunities and challenges.
This White Paper is designed to meet these challenges, to set out ways we can support the Territories and strengthen our engagement with them. It is another major milestone in our long and shared history, and I hope it will mark a new era of engagement between Britain and the Overseas Territories.
In his message Prime Minister David Cameron said that “the UK government is ambitious for our Territories as we are ambitious for the United Kingdom. This White Paper sets out our commitment to work with the Territories to address the challenges we face together. This is a commitment from across the UK Government.”