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Falkland Islands

Volume 22: debated on Wednesday 28 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he proposes to extend the maritime blockade of the Falkland Islands to prevent Argentine aircraft from overflying the 200-mile zone.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether, in the event of hostilities with the Argentine, he will consider all military craft including communication craft, whether sea or air, which give assistance to Argentina hostile and liable to attack irrespective of their nationality.

The following statement was issued by the Government earlier today:

"From 1100 GMT on 30th April 1982, a Total Exclusion Zone will be established around the Falkland Islands. The outer limit of this Zone is the same as for the Maritime Exclusion Zone established on Monday 12th April 1982, namely a circle of 200 nautical miles radius from latitude 51 degrees 40 minutes South, 59 degrees 30 minutes West. From the time indicated, the Exclusion Zone will apply not only to Argentine warships and Argentine naval auxiliaries but also to any other ship, whether naval or merchant vessel, which is operating in support of the illegal occupation of the Falkland Islands by Argentine forces. The Exclusion Zone will also apply to any aircraft, whether military or civil, which is operating in support of the illegal occupation. Any ship and any aircraft whether military or civil which is found within this Zone without due authority from the MOD in London will be regarded as operating in support of the illegal occupation and will therefore be regarded as hostile and will be liable to be attacked by British Forces.
Also from the time indicated, Port Stanley airport will be closed; and any aircraft on the ground in the Falkland Islands will be regarded as present in support of the illegal occupation and accordingly is liable to attack.
These measures are without prejudice to the right of the UK to take whatever additional measures may be needed in exercise of its right of self-defence, under Article 51 of the UN Charter."