Consolidate! Britain, the Falkland Islands and wider the South Atlantic/Antarctic
On the Falklands question, David Cameron has been the most robust British Prime Minister since the late Margaret Thatcher. He has accused the Argentine government led by President Christina Kirchner of being ‘colonial like’ in its campaign to ‘recover’ the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). This article teases out two aspects of the current UK policy towards the Falklands and wider region: first, the Falklands are increasingly imagined as a strategic ‘gateway’ to the wider region including Antarctica. Resource interests do play a major role in this geographical imagination and in a post-Afghanistan era, there might be additional UK military capacity to support the UK presence. Second, the Coalition government is, more than ever, determined to promote and protect the ‘wishes’ of the Falkland Islands community to self-determine their own future. This has, in turn, given added confidence to the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) to organize a referendum in March 2013. There is going to be no return to a more co-operative period in the late 1990s; consolidate is the new watch word.