Back off! Boris issues military threat to Spain and Argentina over Falklands and Gibraltar
Falklands: Former Argentine senator calls for fresh talks with UK
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And Andrew Rosindell warned Argentina, Spain and any other country foolhardy enough to encroach on British sovereignty there would be “only one consequence” if they did. However, Daniel Filmus, the Argentinian minister with responsibility for what Buenos Aires refers to as the Malvinas has hit back condemning “colonialism” – and reiterating his country’s claim on the Falklands.
Mr Johnson signalled his determination to protect British interests as he unveiled the details of the far-ranging integrated review setting out priorities for defence and foreign policy over the course of the next decade.
The 100-page document commits to “deterring and defending against state and non-state threats”.
As such, the Armed Forces will “maintain a permanent presence in the Falkland Islands, Ascension Island and the British Indian Ocean Territory”.
A Government source stressed: “The UK is far from leaving its transatlantic commitments.
“They are being beefed up and held in high regard.”
Mr Rosindell plays an important role in connecting Britain with its 14 regions scattered across the world in his position as chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British overseas territories.
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The Government is also serving the cause of peace, by communicating to those who may wish to illegally annex this sovereign British territory that there will only be one consequence to them doing so
The MP for Romford in Essex said: “I am pleased to see the Government reiterating its commitment to the military defence of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, as part of the Government’s Integrated Review, announced today.”
Significantly, he added: “By demonstrating in unambiguous terms the United Kingdom’s commitment to the security and political status of the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar, the Government is also serving the cause of peace, by communicating to those who may wish to illegally annex this sovereign British territory that there will only be one consequence to them doing so.
“For as long as the people of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands want to stay part of the family of the United Kingdom, they will benefit from the support of our Government and the might of our military.”
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Sovereignty of both the Falklands, in the south Atlantic, and Gibraltar, located on the southern tip of Spain, continues to be hotly disputed.
Both have native populations steadfastly committed to retaining their British links, and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher fought a brief war to liberate the former after an Argentinian invasion in 1982.
Nevertheless, Argentina continues to push to reopen the sovereignty debate, to the extent of lobbying EU High Representative Josep Borrell on the issue.
With respect to Gibraltar, in British hands since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Spain has never relinquished its claim
Responding to Mr Johnson’s statement in the Commons yesterday, Mr Filmus tweeted: “Argentina reiterates its condemnation of colonialism, the illegal occupation of the Malvinas Islands and the presence of the British military base in the South Atlantic.
“The only way to resolve the sovereignty dispute is bilateral dialogue in the terms proposed by the United Nations.”
A subsequent statement issued by the Argentinian government added: “The considerations postulated by Prime Minister Johnson reiterate the traditional colonialist view of the United Kingdom on the Malvinas Islands and the set of British possessions around the world and for Argentina do not express novelty regarding British colonial policy.”
The statement claimed the UK’s insistence on Falklanders having the right to self-determination was not recognised by the United Nations, rendering its occupation of the remote archipelago “illegitimate”.
It said: “Argentina permanently denounces that one of the main objectives of the United Kingdom is to support a military base in Malvinas, a circumstance that the South Atlantic countries of Latin America and Africa that make up the South Atlantic Peace Zone (ZPCAS) have considered as a threat to the entire region.”
The statement added: “Argentina has repeatedly denounced that this base violates United Nations resolution 31/49, which prohibits unilateral actions in the disputed area, such as this military base.
“This situation also occurs in a context of deep concern on the part of those who believe that Brexit has weakened the British position in the world and in particular affected by the exclusion of overseas territories such as Malvinas, South Sandwich and South Georgia and of the maritime areas surrounding the free trade agreement with the EU.”
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