Rishi Sunak has warned sovereignty of the Falkland Islands is not up for negotiation after new Argentina leader Javier Milei said efforts should be made to “get them back”.
The PM’s spokesman said yesterday that the issue was “settled decisively some time ago”. He was referring to the 1982 war which claimed the lives of 255 British servicemen, three islanders and 649 Argentine personnel.
It resulted in the territory remaining British and Mr Sunak’s spokesman added: “The UK has no doubt about the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands and indeed South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The UK Government will continue to proactively defend the Falkland islanders’ right to self-determination.”
Mr Milei, a far-right libertarian, reportedly said on his election campaign Argentina had “non-negotiable sovereignty” over the islands, which it calls the Malvinas.
The president-elect – said to have lauded Margaret Thatcher, the British PM during the Falklands conflict – vowed to get them back via “diplomatic channels”.
In a 2013 referendum, the people of the South Atlantic archipelago voted 99.8% in favour of remaining a UK overseas territory.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps added that it was “undeniable” the islands are British, tweeting on X: “The Falkland Islands are British.
“That is non-negotiable and undeniable.”