UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said that it is important to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Falkland Islands conflict, but aside from some sabre rattling from Argentina, the rest of Latin America is interested in trade and development.
“What they are interested in is expanding trade, and building up their economies for the huge numbers of people in their countries who want opportunity. Brazil is very focused, for instance, on improving educational links with the UK”, said Hague.
“These are the sort of thing they are interested in, not the Falkland Islands” underlined the Foreign Secretary who this week is scheduled to visit Brazil, the first in six years.
And although there are no plans to upgrade the defence of the Islands to coincide with the anniversary, “the Falkland Islands are well protected, in any case. And they will always remain so”.
Hague pointed out that the recently refurbished airport (MPA) in the Falkland Islands does mean, “of course, that the Falkland Islands can be heavily reinforced at short notice, which was not the case at the time of the war in 1982.”
Although admitting that across Latin America there will be quite a few differences of opinion with the UK over the Falkland Islands, “I don’t get the sense that those countries other than Argentina want to press that”.
The Duke of Cambridge’s posting to the Falklands next month, where he will spend six weeks working as a search and rescue pilot, has raised objections in Buenos Aires, with the Argentine official with responsibility for the South Atlantic territory calling it “a provocative act”.
But Foreign Secretary Hague firmly rejects accusations of provocation.
“This is a normal part of the duties of His Royal Highness,” he says. “This is what he does, this is his job. And it is part of the normal duties within the armed forces – to serve in the Falkland Islands”.
Therefore “I see no reason why we should feel that he shouldn’t take part in his normal duties in one of our overseas territories”.
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And that is the reality. Trade ( = wealth) trumps placating excitable neighbours who will change the rules on trade/imports at a moments whim wthout thought to the consequences.Jan 16th, 2012 - 09:49 am 0
The time when Argentina's government grows up and starts looking at long-term planning, rather than short-term policies, the country might have a change of gaining some of its former wealth.
Brazil is very focused, for instance, on improving educational links with the UK”, said Hague.”Jan 16th, 2012 - 10:52 am 0
This may be so, as a trade statement, but there are many much higher hurdles to getting higher education in the UK compared to many other countries.
Two postgrad Brasilian Brits known to me - both totally acceptible (and accepted) to the greatest universities in the UK, fell foul of dual nationality last year. Brasil won't fund them for a PhD because of the chance that they might choose to not return to Brasil, the UK won't fund them as overseas students - which they are - because of the extreme inflexibility of the EU/UK rules on nationality and the 'threat of terrorism' (both of with which I am very familiar with from my work in UK University Admissions).
These are guys who have been called - in my hearing - by internationally eminent mathematicians ..... 'the future of mathematics in Brasil'.
They will undoubtably be lost to both countries and will gravitate to the US, Singapore, China or some such centre of stoicastic mathematics.
The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, would be well advised to invest in specific talents rather than just look at it as a financial exercise in book-balancing.
The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, would be well advised to invest in specific talents rather than just look at it as a financial exercise in book-balancingJan 16th, 2012 - 11:35 am 0
Thanks for the info,Geoff.Much appreciated about the Higher Ed issues..