Former foreign secretary William Hague said that if Britain votes to leave the European Union, the Falkland Islands sovereignty could be put at risk, while Gibraltar would left in a very difficult position. The statement was published this week by The Telegraph in an article under the heading: Brexit would put the Falkland Islands' sovereignty at risk
The piece picks on a speech at the Chatham House foreign affairs think tank in London, where Lord Hague said: “The guaranteed solidarity of 28 nations, including those with strong historic links to Latin America, over British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands would be lost. He added that the issues were “serious enough for wars to have been fought over them”.
The former Conservative leader also warned that Gibraltar would be left in a very difficult position and that Britain's overseas territories were united in fearing “seriously adverse consequences” of a Brexit.
Lord Hague also underlined that a vote for Brexit vote could lead to the “disintegration” of the whole United Kingdom. He said Scotland could hold a second independence referendum following a Brexit and said there would be enormous implications for Northern Ireland if it had a border with the Republic.
“A large proportion of Northern Ireland’s trade crosses that border and a great deal of the EU expenditure in Britain supports the peace process on both sides of it,” he said.
“Gibraltar in particularly would be left in a very difficult position, with no remaining obligations for Spain to maintain an open border,” he said.
The result could be considerable financial and personal hardship for many people fiercely loyal to the UK.”
“Like many British people, I believe passionately in the unity in future of the United Kingdom, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and in our responsibilities to people of British overseas territories.
“I do not believe that leaving the EU would be an act consistent with maintaining that unity or fulfilling those responsibilities.
“How ironic it would be if people thought there was something patriotic or particularly pro-British about leaving the EU only to discover that it led to the disintegration of our country and dealt a permanent blow to overseas territories who look to us for leadership and protection.”
Lord Hague dismissed as total fantasy” claims made by the Leave camp about the benefits of a vote to break from Brussels. And he said claims the UK could be drawn into forming part of an EU army were “utter rubbish”.