The real reason Hammond didn’t talk about Falkland Islands on Argentina visit...
Instead the Chancellor vowed to “recapture the spirit of the age when the UK was Argentina’s primary trading partner” as the nation moves to unshackling itself from the European Union (EU).
Philip Hammond's failure to mention the elephant in the room may have come as a surprise to critics keen to see Britain’s post-Brexit position cemented, but experts suggest sabre-tattling Argentinian officials have backed off from their desperate attempt to wrestle back control of the remote British Overseas Territory.
Ian Shields OBE, former RAF Group captain and international relations lecturer at Cambridge University, told Express.co.uk: “Argentina is not going to launch an attack over the sovereignty of the islands.
“Plus Britain’s military is rock solid.”
“Hammond’s visit was driven purely by economics. This will be about an exciting bilateral trade deal.”
Although Mr Shields admitted Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has created “uncertainty” for islanders, he said Mr Hammond had “no need” to raise the issue of sovereignty with the Latin American country.
Since Britain voted to leave the bloc in June last year, Buenos Aires has attempted to steer the lead in the remote territory by the back door.
But Mr Shields, who spent four months serving on the islands, said: “Obviously both sides know there is unfinished business, but right now they are going to agree to disagree until after Brexit.
"They will agree to deal with it in time and kick it into the long grass for now."
“We are talking about highly skilled diplomats on both sides here. Argentina knows Britain won’t change its position on its sovereignty.
“Hammond is not going to change his position on the sovereignty of the islands.”
The UK and Argentina have been embroiled in a long-running diplomatic spat over the Falkland Islands, which have been under British control since 1833.
Argentina's 1982 invasion sparked a war which left around 650 Argentine soldiers and 255 British dead.
It ended with the surrender of the Argentine troops a few weeks later.
On Thursday, Mr Hammond met Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, and said: “We can recapture the spirit of the age when the UK was Argentina's primary trading partner.
"The evidence of that time is still all around us: in your schools, in your railways, in your universities, in your football teams. There, I said it."
"Argentina offers several opportunities in different sectors like infrastructure, energy, communications, technology and other services. We expect the UK to expand its shares of investment and trade."