GMB: Ben Fogle says people have forgotten Falklands War
The European Union sparked a dispute with Britain after it signed a treaty with Argentina which referred to the Falkland Islands as the “Islas Malvinas”.
The joint declaration, endorsed by the EU and 32 members of the Celac bloc of Latin American countries, used both names of the archipelago. It read: “Regarding the question of sovereignty over the Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands, the European Union took note of Celac’s historical position based on the importance of dialogue and respect for international law in the peaceful solution of disputes.”
Before the two-day summit earlier this week Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, had asked the EU to reject mentioning the Falkland Islands but as Britain left the bloc the EU said it could have no say. The British overseas territory is known as the Malvinas in Spanish and was the subject of a short conflict between the UK and Argentina in 1982.
Tory MP James Sunderland, who served in the Falklands War, said: “This is outrageous. The UK has exercised de facto sovereignty over the Falkland Islands since 1833 and went to their defence in 1982.
“The good people of the Falklands have also overwhelmingly voted to remain British. The EU would be wise to respect British sovereignty, rather than waste its time with tokenism.”
READ MORE: EU official taunts UK after bloc’s deal using the Falklands’ Argentinian name
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The Argentinian government has celebrated the recognition of the Falkland Islands’ Argentine name as a “diplomatic victory”. Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero said: “This joint declaration represents a new call from the international community to the United Kingdom to agree to comply with its obligation to resume sovereignty negotiations with Argentina.”
A UK Foreign Office source opposed using the Argentine name and said: “The Argentine government can lobby whoever they wish but it doesn’t change the fact that the Falkland Islands are British. That is the clear will of the Falkland Islanders Our commitment to that decision is unwavering and will continue to be so.”
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A spokesman for the European External Action Service, the EU’s foreign affairs arm, said: “The EU member states have not changed their views/positions concerning the Falklands/Malvinas Islands.
“The EU is not in a situation to express any position on the Falklands/Islas Malvinas, as there is not any Council discussion on this matter. The EU does not take any position on such matters without a Council mandate.”
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