Boris Johnson has suggested that the biggest roadblock to Anglo-Argentina relations is the EU during his recent visit to South America.
The prominent Brexiteer claimed he was the first Foreign Secretary in 50 years to visit Peru and the first in 25 years to go to Chile and Argentina, suggesting this was because being a member of the EU had made the UK “more Eurocentric and less instinctively global than we had been”.
His comments overlook the fact that the EU already has a free trade deal with Peru and that its trade arrangements with Chile are being upgraded to have similar status.
It also skipped his attention that nothing stops UK Foreign Secretaries visiting countries as part of the European Union, other than historic disputes, such as those over nearby islands.
Tensions between Britain and Argentina remained frayed up until the mid-2000s, where claims to the Falkland Islands were once again disputed under the government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
It has only been since Mauricio Macri took the presidency in 2015 that relations were put back on track with the UK, but such relations could come under fresh strain because of Britain’s departure from the EU.
With the UK a signatory of the Treaty of Rome, all the rest of the EU are obliged to recognise and accept that the UK overseas territories are a part of the UK.
But once the UK is no longer an EU member state, nor a signatory to the Treaty of Rome, the same obligations do not apply.
So no free trade deals and no protection of our foreign interests – bravo Bojo!