Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to promise that the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar will be defended with the military, report have suggested this week. The Telegraph claimed Mr Johnson has vowed to use the Armed Forces to protect the UK and its citizens, which includes its “responsibility to ensure the security of the 14 overseas territories”. The comments come as part of the UK’s integrated review into defence and foreign policy. The report adds the Armed Forces will “deter and challenge incursions in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters” and will “maintain a permanent presence in the Falkland Islands, Ascension Island and the British Indian Ocean Territory”.
Despite the fact that nearly 40 years have passed since the 1982 Falklands war, there remains simmering tension between the UK and Argentine leaders.
Just last year, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez said that his administration “will continue to demand what belongs to Argentina. We shall do it in international forums, peacefully but will never cease to do so”.
He added: “I will not ask permission to the United Kingdom, because it is them that are usurping Argentine land, and in this we shall not yield or have good manners for that matter”
This sort of rhetoric has emerged from Buenos Aires for years.
In 2013, Argentina’s then foreign minister Hector Timerman vowed the Falkland Islands would come under Buenos Aires’ control within 20 years.
He said: “I don’t think it will take another 20 years. I think that the world is going through a process of understanding more and more that this is a colonial issue, an issue of colonialism, and that the people living there were transferred to the islands.”
As his comments came in 2013, the 20 year vow by Mr Timerman appeared to want the Argentine government to peacefully reclaim the islands by 2033.
He continued: “We have been trying to find a peaceful solution for 180 years. I think the fanatics are not in Buenos Aires [but] maybe in the UK because they are 14,000km away from the islands.
“And I think they are using the people living in the islands for political [reasons] and to have access to oil and natural resources which belong to the Argentine people. I think we are not fanatical at all.
“There is not one single country in the world which supports the right of the UK to govern over the Malvinas. Not one.
READ MORE: Falklands fury: Argentina’s ‘strong offensive’ to take back Islands
“We look forward to working with your new government to continue to strengthen the UK-Argentina relationship – PM Boris Johnson.”
But the Argentine President-elect replied: “Thanks to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the greeting. Without giving up our claim of sovereignty, we must work together to strengthen the ties between the Argentine and British people, who share much more than we imagine.”