Brexit could risk the hard fought sovereignty of the Falklands Islands, Westminster has been warned by the Falklands Islands Government.
European members such as Spain could end up siding with Argentina over the Falklands dispute after Brexit, if Britain is not in the EU, the island’s government has warned.
Roger Edwards, a Member of Legislative Assembly, pointed out that 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.
Once the UK is no longer an EU member state, nor a signatory to the Treaty of Rome, the same obligations do not apply.
During the Falklands war in 1982, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Islanders died during the hostilities to return the islands to British sovereignty.
Because of the Treaty of Rome, European nations were obliged to support the UK’s position during the Falklands war. If the same hostilities broke out again, with Britain outside the EU, whereas before the EU nations had to stay out of the conflict or support the UK, there would now be no obligation on EU nations not to seek another outcome for the islanders, who in every recent opinion poll consistently want to stay British.
That means Britain could well lose the support of the rest of Europe and may well see Spain and possibly other members of the European Union giving greater credence to Argentinian claims on the islands they call Malvinas.
“Sovereignty” was a constant buzzword for the campaign to leave the EU – a word since criticised by prominent remainers for being meaningless as parliament has been pushed out of the redrafting of countless British laws. These words would appear very hollow indeed if Brexit means risking actual British sovereignty of the Falklands and other territories which repeatedly warned that leaving the European Union would leave them precarious economically and existentially.
Gibraltar’s chief minister warned that the British enclave’s sovereignty would be put at risk by Brexit. Fabian Picardo said the territory would come under pressure from Spain to consider joint sovereignty to continue to have the access the single market it relies on.
Watch Roger Edward’s warnings below: