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Falkland Islands (Argentine Forces)

Volume 540: debated on Monday 20 February 2012

10. What assessment he has made of the capacity of armed forces from Argentina to enter the Falkland Islands by force. (95289)

We pay close attention to developments in Argentina’s military capability. There is no current evidence of the intent or the capability to launch a credible military threat to the Falkland Islands. However, we are committed to the protection of the islanders’ right to self-determination and will remain vigilant in our posture.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. What impact will the ban on Falklands-flagged ships in Latin American ports have on Britain’s ability to defend the islands? Which Governments in the region can we count on as allies in the unlikely event—let us hope that it remains a very remote possibility—of hostile Argentine action?

As I have said, the statements that some Governments have been induced to make about access to their ports for Falkland Islands-flagged vessels are most unwelcome, but we judge that they will have no material impact on our ability to defend the islands or reinforce the islands, should that be necessary. I hope my hon. Friend and the House do not mind, but it would not be in the interests of the UK’s national security or of the Falkland Islands to explore in public which regional nations might be friendly to us if there were a need for military action at any time in the future.