News In Depth
Falklands poll 'must be accepted'
Argentina must accept the democratic verdict of the Falkland Islanders following next year's referendum, the Government said.
Foreign Office Minister David Lidington said the Government gave "full support" to the poll, due to be held in the first half of 2013, and would continue to strongly support the right of self-determination for the people of the islands.
He added Britain was committed to maintaining a "defensive military posture" to protect the islands.
The government of the Falkland Islands announced this week it would hold a referendum of the 3,000 residents in a bid to settle the question of sovereignty.
Thursday marks the 30th anniversary of the surrender by Argentine forces following the Falklands War.
Mr Lidington told the Commons: "In the past the Falkland Islands have made it clear they wish to remain a self-governing British overseas territory and to continue living in the same peaceful and neighbourly manner that has characterised their long history on the islands, stretching back now some nine generations.
"They have no interest in becoming a province of Argentina.
"Despite this the Argentine government continues either to misrepresent the views of the Falklanders or to dismiss them as irrelevant.
"This (referendum) will provide a legal, fair and decisive means for the people of the Falkland Islands to express their views.
"I hope Argentina and, indeed, all in the international community, will take note of the islanders' freely expressed, democratic views."