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Falkland Islands: Fossil Fuels

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department plans to provide to the Falkland Islands government to extract oil and gas. (248351)

The Government continue to support the Falkland Islands’ right to develop their hydrocarbons resources as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister restated in his new year message to the Falkland Islanders.

The development of the sector is primarily a matter for the Falkland Islands government. The new Falkland Islands Constitution makes clear—as did the previous Constitution—that the people of the Falklands have the right to dispose of their natural wealth and resources. The Government have a strategic interest in the way in which progress is made, and will continue to provide guidance and advice to ensure that the Falkland Islands government is able to plan for, and manage, all the challenges and responsibilities that come with a hydrocarbons sector including security, health and safety or socio-economic issues.