Hands off the Falklands

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BRITAIN will not give in to pressure to give up the Falkland Islands, foreign secretary William Hague has said.

In a statement to MPs yesterday, Mr Hague said Islanders must not be intimidated by economic pressure after five South American countries agreed to deny port access to ships sailing under the Falkland Islands flag.

As the 30th anniversary of the 1982 Falklands War looms, Mr Hague warned the countries from the Mercosur trading group – including Argentina – that the move was ‘inconsistent’ with the principles of the United Nations charter.

He added: ‘The British government will always ensure that the Falkland Islanders’ right to determine their political future is respected.’

Mr Hague said the UK does not want to cut its ties in the region, as it had ‘considerable political, economic and security interests’ there.