Falklands shock: How Argentina planned to use Brexit to take back Islands

Falklands shock: How Argentina planned to use Brexit to take back Islands

FALKLAND ISLANDS disputes never disappeared after Britain successfully defended the archipelago after the war with Argentina in 1982, and now as Brexit negotiations have taken the UK into another general election, it appears that politicians in Buenos Aires have long been praying for a no deal withdrawal from the EU to "enhance" their claim over the territory.

The current Foreign Minister in Mauricio Macri's departing Argentine government, Jorge Faurie, made the shocking claim after speaking to former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in 2018. Speaking to The Telegraph in October 2018, Mr Fauri said Argentina plans to “have a negotiation that will enable stronger relations between the people on the Falkland islands and the people on the Continent and we hope that the non-Brexit [no-deal] solution will enhance the possibility of that dialogue to be truly one with the results".

He continued: “If you think member states would not sustain the Malvinas [Falklands] claim in favour of the UK, we are there … to talk, to negotiate, to see what would be the best solution for the people in the islands to be much more in touch with Argentina.”

But this Brexit-inspired Falklands plot appears to have been in the pipeline since before Mr Fauri made his statement in 2018, as a year before, the former Argentinian Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra said Buenos Aires was following the Brexit negotiations "carefully" to see if the UK lost European support for its control of the Falklands.

In a statement made in response to Mr Faurie, the Foreign Office said: “There is no question of changing the status of the Falklands post Brexit.

"The UK government has been clear that our overseas territories, including the Falklands, will retain their current relationship with the UK after we leave the EU.”

Argentina's recent elections saw Macri's government make way for Peronist Alberto Fernandez, who made reclamation of the Falklands one of his big election pledges.

This is likely to be a difficult ambition to fulfil however, as the archipelago is currently recognised as UK territory and Argentina's own constitution states that force cannot be used in any sovereignty claim.

It reads: “The Argentine Nation ratifies its legitimate and non-prescribing sovereignty over the Malvinas, Georgias del Sur and Sandwich del Sur Islands and over the corresponding maritime and insular zones, as they are an integral part of the National territory.

“The recovery of said territories and the full exercise of sovereignty, respectful of the way of life of their inhabitants and according to the principles of international law, are a permanent and unrelinquished goal of the Argentine people.”

This would leave only political paths to changing the Island's status.