RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT OF ARGENTINA’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF FURTHER ACTION AGAINST HYDROCARBONS EXPLORATION IN THE FALKLANDS
The Falkland Islands Government (FIG) fails to see how drilling is in any way a provocation.
We have the right to develop our economy, including the hydrocarbons industry, and we are exercising that right. Exploration drilling has been happening in Falkland Islands waters for many years. It is worth remembering that it was the Government of Argentina who walked away from working with the Falkland Islands on the development of a hydrocarbons industry some years ago. Argentine domestic law does not apply to the Falkland Islands and this latest action is clearly another attempt by Argentina to try to block economic growth in the Falkland Islands.
The Falkland Islands Government would dispute the Argentine argument about militarisation of the Falkland Islands. UK forces are here as a deterrent and levels of personnel over the past 10-15 years have reduced considerably. The recent review will not lead to any increase in the size of the military in the Islands but rather an investment into infrastructure here in the Islands.
The Government of Argentina continues to ignore our inalienable right to determine our own future. In 2013, in an internationally observed referendum, the Falkland Islands sent a clear and unequivocal message to the world when of those who turned out to the polls, 99.8% voted in favour of remaining a British Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. We are very happy with our relationship with the United Kingdom, and it is a relationship based on mutual respect – something Argentina refuses to give the people of the Falkland Islands.
– The Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands