Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage stressed her support for the Falkland Islands in Parliament today.
In a debate on the future of the Islands, the local MP underlined the inhabitants absolute right to self-determination. The debate follows increased Argentinean hostility and the imposition of trade blockades as the Islanders approach the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.
Caroline highlighted Gosport’s vital contribution to the conflict. She said:
“The sacrifices and memories of the War are indelibly marked on the fabric of my constituency. Gosport’s role in the conflict was significant, with a great number of sailors and submariners coming from the town. As their Member of Parliament, I feel an immense sense of pride for what my constituents sacrificed for people thousands of miles from them – but yet brought together by their desire to be British.”
The Gosport MP went on to stress that the Islanders unanimous desire to remain British must be respected. She noted that “with not a single Islander fighting to renounce their status as a British Dependent Territory, neither the British nor the Argentineans have any right to dictate their fate.”
Following Caroline’s own visit to the Falkland Islands in May last year, she concluded:
“The most striking aspect of the trip was the absolutely regard in which the Islanders held those British who fought for them. I met veterans from HMS Fearless - some from my own constituency. In their time re-visiting the Falklands, they found restaurants bills paid for them, taxi fares refused – and everywhere they went the ongoing gratitude of the Islanders for their role in securing their freedom.”
Caroline restated the need to safeguard this freedom, and called upon the Government to support the Islanders right to self-determination.
Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne, in responding to the debate, said the Government was “unequivocal in its support of the Falkland Islands sovereignty” and recognised the Islanders wish to remain British.