Falklands & Gibraltar vulnerable to attack if Britain leaves EU, MPs told

People walk on Ross road in Stanley © Marcos Brindicci
Exiting the EU would leave the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar vulnerable to Argentine and Spanish aggression, Britain’s Foreign Affairs committee has been told.

Sukey Cameron, the Falkland Islands government representative in Britain, said a Brexit had “wide-ranging and deep implications.

Were the UK no longer a member of the EU, that support would be much less certain from a large number of those EU member states, and might encourage Argentina to be much more aggressive in its approach,” she told the committee.

While Gibraltar’s government warned that in the event of a British exit from the union, “Spain would take advantage of any such renegotiation in order to further undermine, isolate and exclude Gibraltar from the European mainstream.

Sukey Cameron also argued a Brexit could be crippling to the Falklands’ economy, as 70 percent of growth hinges on access to EU markets.

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former UK commander in Afghanistan, and a staunch Brexiteer, previously argued the complete opposite.

He warned the Telegraph that continued membership made an EU army more likely and that, if UK forces were under EU command, the case for retaking the Falklands in the event of a second Argentine invasion would fall on deaf ears.

There would never be consensus for an EU military operation to retake the Falklands. It could not happen. Therefore the Falklands could not be retaken or indeed defended if it was invaded again by Argentina,” he said.

The Foreign Affairs Committee’s outspoken chair Crispin Blunt said the referendum is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to chart a course for the UK’s role in the world.

Voters should consider not only the short-term consequences of staying or leaving but the long-term opportunities and challenges,” he added.