asked the Prime Minister if, in light of the serious situation in the Falkland Islands, her Majesty's Government will alter legislation and practice so that the 400 or so residents of the Falkland Islands, who will shortly be classified as citizens of British dependent territories under the British Nationality Act 1981, are afforded all the same rights and privileges, namely, subsidised university education, free medical treatment, right of access to the United Kingdom, right to take up employment in the United Kingdom, and payments under the Public Lending Rights Act, which are automatically provided under current British law and practice to British citizens, and citizens of EEC countries, including France's overseas territories.
As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made clear in reply to a question from my hon. Friend on 8 April—[Vol. 21, c. 421–24]—in the present situation all Falkland Islanders, whether or not they have the right of abode, will be admitted to the United Kingdom and allowed to settle, if they wish, with no restriction on their taking work. There is no need to amend the British Nationality Act 1981 to achieve this. The other rights and privileges referred to depend on factors other than citizenship.