David Moss, partner, Lovells

Opinion: The future of the Falklands: could it be compromise?

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  • I fail to understand why anyone takes Argentina's claim seriously.
    Argentina was not even a country when British settlers took occupancy. The Islands have never been part of Argentina in any way, shape or form except imagination. They have never had an Argentine population, ever.
    The USA is doing it's usual poor job of forgetting who its friends are, if tensions develop over this issue again I would advocate the immediate and complete withdrawal of all British troops from Afghanistan to re-inforce our presence in the south Atlantic since that piece of territory and the security of it is far more important to Britons than the dust bowl of Afghanistan.

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  • I do not understand the author's assertion that the UK's historical claim is based on very 'little' On the contrary, the historic claim has been sufficient to keep Argentina away from pursuing sovereignty through the ICJ. And Argentina cannot contend that the right to self-determine does not apply as they are themselves descendants of Spanish settlers. As for a ' joint development zone' - it was Argentina who broke away from talks in 2007, not the UK.

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  • I dislike this talk of 'compromise'. Why? The Falklands were discovered by the English and if it were a clear-cut case of belonging to what was joined to you then the French would own Britain, Britain would own the Channel Islands, etc. We fought and won these islands and we populate them. End of.

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  • A fact often dismissed by the British is that the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht signed by the UK and Spain (among other European powers), gave Spain continued control of her colonies in the Americas, including all adjacent islands. Simply put, the UK gave up any claims to the Malvinas/Falklands Islands to Spain by signed treaty. The islands then became part of Spain's Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. When Argentina declared independence from Spain and became The United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, it claimed all territories previously administered by the Viceroyalty. In 1825, the UK recognized the newly formed Republic, which included territorial recognition. In 1833 the UK takes over the Malvinas/Falklands not because it retained some form of claim at that time, but rather because it could. The UK was at the height of imperial expansion and it went around the world taking whatever it wanted. That simple. Argentina never gave up its claim to the islands. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Argentina and the UK became very close allies and it was expected by both nations that the islands would be returned to Argentina somewhere along the line. In fact, until the early 1970s, the UK proposed the return of the islands to Argentina to the islanders, who did not want to become part of Argentina. Who could blame them? Does anyone want to join a country often ruled by military dictators? But still, the UK was proposing this to the islanders. In 1976 the UK decided not to return the islands after becoming aware of vast deposits of oil on the Malvinas/Falklands basin. The UK claims that they are simply looking after the interest of the islanders. Well, this is coming from the same nation that expelled all inhabitants out of Diego Garcia and gave the islands to the USA to build a military base. Bottom line, this is one of the many front lines in the battle over natural resources. If there was no oil and no strategic access to Antarctica, I truly believe that UK would have returned the islands by now. As for the islanders, I'm sure they would be welcomed in the UK.

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  • In 1520, Esteban Gómez of the San Antonio, one of the captains in the expedition of Magellan, deserted this enterprise and encountered several islands, which members of his crew called "Islas de Sansón y de los Patos" ("Islands of Samson and the Ducks"). Although these islands were the Jason Islands, a group northwest of West Falkland, the names "Islas de Sansón" (or "San Antón", "San Son", and "Ascensión") were used for the Falklands on Spanish maps during this period

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  • The Falkland Islands have been British Sovereign territory since 1892 which is before the creation of the UN and the UN definition of "peoples" and "right to self-determine".

    In 1982 the Argentines, lead by an unpleasant military junta, made their move against the Falkland Islands in the mistaken belief that Great Britain had become a mickey mouse tin-pot country.

    The Royal Marines restored the Union Jack and thereby respected the democratic wishes of the peoples of the Falkland Islands to remain British.

    If the Argentines had any moral claim on the Falkland Islands and the waters that surround it then this died when they lost the unjust war they started.

    If it was down to me I would not let the Argentines have a single barrel of oil or the steam off my p***.!

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  • So, "Malvinas", Argentina was only dragged into the Falklands issue when it became an independent state from Spain purely by chance, not because it became independent because it WANTED them. Yeah, says it all really. And as to all this talk of colonisation by the English it is merely Argentinian sour grapes. Every continent and country on this Earth has been colonised at one stage or another, including Argentina, whose 'native' peoples were diven out brutally by the Spanish, probably "Malvinas" ancestors. Give it a rest. There is nothing to discuss and there'll be no compromise. We have nothing to compromise ABOUT. The Falklands are BRITISH and staying that way. Try it on and you'll get short shrift shipmates! We're ready for you. :)

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  • Malvinas, the only reason Argenina is interested in the Falklands is because of the natural resources and oil deposits. If the place had no resources useful to your failing economy you wouldn't give two hoots about the place, you wouldn't care it was British and you certainly wouldn't give a monkeys about the welfare of the islanders on a day to day basis. So you can cut that out, pretending to care out of human compassion because we all known why you are interested in it. Your people burn British flags in the streets. That's how much you care about offending the Falkland Islanders, by burning their flag and insulting their nationality. Then you talk about it in humanitarian terms of Britain no caring for the islanders. Have we insulted them? Ask them. Have we burned YOUR flag? Not one person has even bothered. I am glad we simply ignore you.

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  • What a load of old nonsense. In the end it will be international development that suffers? Please. I am only surprised the writer didn't call for world peace a la Miss World.

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  • To Malvinas at 2.40pm.

    As regards your comment "As for the islanders, I'm sure they would be welcomed in the UK", implicit in your statement is that:

    (a) the islanders' opinion as regards sovereignty should be ignored in favour of some historical claim by Argentina (who are presumably only interested in the resources, as opposed to also protecting the existing inhabitants' interests) contrary to the UN Charter and ICJ rulings;

    (b) once the Argentinians have taken the island they will kick out the residents or they will want to leave, presumably because they don't want to be part of Argentina; and

    (c) after having fought and died for the land, the rest of the population in the UK is just going to be happy to welcome them back.

    Your treatment of the issue, while clearly well informed, is disgracefully narrow minded. You underestimate the significance of the Falklands War in the mind of the British and the respect for self-determination (something Argentina clearly does not understand).

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