Tory MP suggests making the Falklands a ‘full UK nation like Wales’
A Tory MP has suggested making the Falklands a “full” UK nation like Wales.
John Penrose, who is chair of Conservative Policy Forum, has said the British Overseas Territory, which has a population of 3,400, could be given a “devolution settlement like Wales’s St David’s Day Agreement”, as well as its own MPs in Westminster.
In an article for the London-based right-wing news organisation, The Telegraph, he described Port Stanley in the Falklands, which has 2,460 inhabitants, applying for city status as a “brilliant idea”.
Penrose, who represents the constituency of Weston-Super-Mare, suggested that the islands were not a “faintly embarrassing piece of post-imperial afterglow, to be remembered with a twinge of guilt every time there’s a hurricane”.
He claimed that such a move could aid with with “fanning a post-imperial afterglow into a roaring, modern flame.”
The UK went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, or Islas Malvinas in 1982 after they were invaded by the South American country.
In total, 649 Argentine and 255 British military personnel died in the conflict, which lasted 74 days.
John Penrose said: “Levelling-up could and should include them, just as much as any other part of the UK outside London and the South East. We’ve always been a global nation and we shouldn’t stop now.
“But why limit it to city status? Why not offer the Overseas Territories the chance to become full UK nations if they want, like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? They would each have a devolution settlement like Wales’s St David’s Day Agreement or Scotland’s Smith Commission, with a devolved government and Westminster MPs as well.”
He added: “So let’s not stop at city status: we can and should go much, much further than that, by fanning a post-imperial afterglow into a roaring, modern flame.”
Under the 2009 Constitution, the islands already have a form of full internal self-government. The UK is responsible for the Falklands’ foreign affairs, and retains the power “to protect UK interests and to ensure the overall good governance of the territory”.
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