CAROLINE WELCOMES FALKLANDS COMMITMENT

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has today welcomed a statement from the Secretary of State for Defence expressing the Government's commitment the Falkland Islands.

In a statement made to the House of Commons this afternoon, Michael Fallon set out the outcomes of the recently completed review of the forces that the UK holds on the Falkland Islands. He explained that the current military presence is proportionate to the threats faced at present but a number of measures have been designed to protect resilience in the short, medium and long term.

Over the next ten years, £180 million will be invested in improving and modernising infrastructure on the Islands whilst military support helicopters will be returned to provide tactical mobility.

Speaking in the Chamber, Caroline highlighted Gosport's link to the Falkland Islands:

"Gosport is the proud home of the Falklands Veterans Foundation, does the Secretary of State agree with me that it is right to reassure these proud brave men, some of whom still bear the scars of this conflict, that we will always fight to defend their legacy, the sovereignty of those Islands?"

In response, the Secretary of State said:

"My Honourable Friend is right to remind us that the sacrifice of those who died to fight for the freedom of the Falkland Islanders and their right to determine their own future should never be forgotten by the British people or indeed by this House."

Speaking outside the Chamber, Caroline added:

"The Falkland Islanders have expressed their overwhelming to remain part of the United Kingdom and we therefore have a responsibility to protect their interests. I welcome the new measures that are being put in place so we can uphold our longstanding commitment to the Falkland Islands and their people."

Caroline visited the Falkland Islands in 2011 and was struck by the huge gratitude our service men and women received from the Islanders.

You can watch Caroline's question to the Secretary of State in full here:http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/af817e14-70c2-47c9-983b-70a83f47cb51 (from 13:33:15).