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Falkland Islands

Volume 593: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2015

4. Whether he has had discussions with the Argentinian Government on the future of the Falkland Islands; and if he will make a statement. (907830)

There have been no discussions between the UK and Argentina on the future of the Falkland Islands during the course of this Government. Any such discussions will take place only when the Falkland Islanders wish them to, and they have made it clear that they do not.

My right hon. Friend will be aware that the Argentinian Government have brought out new bank notes showing the Falkland Islands as part of Argentina. I think that we have all received a letter from the Argentinian ambassador and a book, “Malvinas Matters”, complaining that there has not been any dialogue. May I reiterate what the Minister has just said? We should not have any negotiations with Argentina on sovereignty until the Falkland islanders want to leave the United Kingdom.

I am aware that a number of right hon. and hon. Members have received that book, which seeks to discredit the Falkland islanders’ right to their own future. It ignores the inconvenient truth that some people on the islands can trace their Falklands ancestry back through nine generations, which is longer than the current borders of Argentina have existed. On the issue of the 50 peso bank note, we cannot stop the Argentinian Government doing these stunts. It is worth a whopping £3.72, according to today’s exchange rate—I think it probably has the equivalent political value.