STATEMENT FROM THE FALKLAND ISLANDS GOVERNMENT
The Falkland Islands Government today announced its intention to hold a referendum on the political status of the Falklands.
Chairman of the Legislative Assembly, Gavin Short, said:
“I have no doubt that the people of the Falklands wish for the Islands to remain a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. We certainly have no desire to be ruled by the Government in Buenos Aires, a fact that is immediately obvious to anyone who has visited the Islands and heard our views. But we are aware that not everyone is able to come to these beautiful Islands and to see this reality for themselves. And the Argentine Government deploys misleading rhetoric that wrongly implies that we have no strong views or even that we are being held hostage by the UK military. This is simply absurd.”
“We have thought carefully about how to convey a strong message to the outside world that expresses the views of the Falklands people in a clear, democratic and incontestable way. So we have decided, with the full support of the British Government, to hold a referendum on the Falkland Islands to eliminate any possible doubt about our wishes. This referendum will be organised by the Falkland Islands Government and will take place in the first half of 2013. We will invite independent, international observers to observe the process and verify its outcome. Exact timings, the specific wording of the question, and other details will be announced in the coming weeks.”
“We are holding this referendum not because we have any doubts about who we are and what future we want, but to show the world just how very certain we are about that.”
On behalf of the Legislative Assembly