Defence Secretary Liam Fox insisted that the Falklands “will always be British”
Thursday October 6,2011
By Martyn Brown, Political Correspondent
LIAM FOX yesterday vowed that Britain would never allow Argentina to control the Falklands.
The Defence Secretary insisted that the islands “will always be British” as he delighted the Tory faithful by promising to show the same toughness that Margaret Thatcher did nearly 30 years ago.
He told the conference: “Next year is the 30th anniversary of the victory for self-determination in the Falklands – a victory made possible by the resolve of another Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.”
Argentina still claims that the Falklands are Argentine territory, and Britain keeps a range of military forces in the South Atlantic to defend them from any interference.
Dr Fox insisted that events had moved on the from 1980s, and the Government was “working towards healthier relations with the Argentinians”. But he added: “One thing is unchanged, for as long as the people of the Falklands choose to, they are, and will always be, British.
One thing is unchanged, for as long as the people of the Falklands choose to, they are, and will always be, British
Defence Secretary Liam Fox
“And let’s also be clear about Gibraltar. Gibraltar has had a strategic importance to the UK for 300 years. It remains an important naval base and there can be no question over its sovereignty.”
Dr Fox also launched a blistering attack on EU countries for scrimping on defence spending while pushing moves for a European army. He stressed Britain would block plans for a permanent EU operational headquarters, which is seen as a step towards a European army.
He branded proposals to “duplicate and divert from Nato” while Europe is in financial crisis “a nonsense”.