While many would have assumed that the subject of the Falklands/Malvinas was well and truly put into perspective with the recent referendum, voting overwhelmingly in favour of remaining part of the UK, it seems that some European politicians think otherwise. If reports are correct, a number of European MPs have privately suggested that the European Parliament does not recognise the U.K.’s sovereignty over the islands.
These views were made public by an array of Argentine lawmakers in Buenos Aires who have been in contact with their European counterparts. So where does this leave the UK?
Has the report been misconstrued?
While there is no doubt that a number of MEPs seem to have expressed their comments regarding sovereignty of the Falklands this is a direct quote from the report: –
MEP Yañez Barnuevo may speak for the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, however he does not speak for the EUROPEAN COMMISSION.
In reality, the MEP in question is able to comment about his own opinions on the Falkland Islands but until it is seen as the official policy of the European Commission, as opposed to members of the European Parliament, nothing will change. There has been no direct contact with the UK regarding sovereignty of the Falkland Islands and in reality it would seem rather strange for the European Commission to get involved in such a situation.
Quote from Gringos.com : Falkland Islands: “British sovereignty over the Islands as such, is not accepted by the European Parliament.”
Is Argentina attempting to ramp up the pressure yet again?
There is no doubt that the appointment of a new Argentine Pope with his own views on the Falkland Islands, which he believes should be part of Argentina, and this rather foolish comment from the European MEP will be used by the Argentine government to place more pressure upon the UK. However, at this moment in time the UK government’s stance on the Falkland Islands has never been stronger and it seems highly unlikely that David Cameron and his coalition counterparts will in any way shape or form change their opinion.
It is common knowledge that Argentina is currently going through something of a financial crisis and indeed there is speculation that the Falklands is being used as a method to deflect criticism of the Argentine government. In reality the Argentine government may have gathered support throughout Latin America but, bearing in mind the European Commission has a firm policy on self-determination, the Falkland Islanders recent referendum result should put the situation of sovereignty to bed for many years to come.
Could this dispute turn into a war again?
The Falklands war came after various threats and intimidation from the Argentine government at a time when both countries were very much stronger from a military point of view. While the situation today is very different, although the UK government would defend the Falklands from any military action, any potential changes in the future will occur around the negotiating table.
Indeed even the Argentine government has stated categorically that it would not enter into any military action to retake the Falklands from the UK. Will political pressure affect the UK government’s stance? Would this open a can of worms for other countries which have sovereignty over islands many miles from their mainland? We will see……………….