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Andres Loubet Jambert
Chairman and Co-Founder of FIS - Fish Information & Services

THE FALKLANDS CASE: What will the population do if BREXIT is voted?
Friday, June 03, 2016

Over three weeks before the referendum deciding if the UK remains in the European Union (EU), the situation of the Falkland Islands’ population immediately dawned on me.

If the UK leaves the EU some things would change in the short and medium term as to its diplomatic context, since some overseas territories could experience some major changes. One of them is the historical claim of Spain to the UK regarding Gibraltar.

If the UK is no longer an EU member state, the other countries should automatically support Spain’s claim so the issue would quickly take a turn.

Similarly, if Spain recognizes the Falkland Islands as part of the Argentine territory, if it is the case that the UK left the EU, Spain would not authorize Spanish ships and companies to continue to operate with the current administration of the Islands, which are part of the UK. This would affect the contracts and income of the current administration of the Islands on the one hand and on the other hand, several ship owners would not find it easy to re-locate trawlers and longliners in other fishing grounds.

I hope this time John Barton does not get angry with me as I do not share this hypothesis in order to bring to light issues he does not like but to see if somehow this whole situation that I raise here could be used positively for all parties.

Argentina's current government has given signs of approaching the UK. Simultaneously, the Chancellery in Argentina is sending "humanitarian" messages to the islanders reporting the possibility of resuming direct flights between the islands and Argentina, providing health services, offering facilities for students and resuming scientific work.

I must clarify beforehand that the current intentions of Argentina as to the population deserves all the possible support but I have serious doubts about the scientific collaboration, since as I have mentioned in another article it was not "by chance" or illogical that Argentina has left the SAFC and this should be taken into account by Chancellor Malcorra and her team.

I use these lines to clarify that I still have not quite understood Argentina’s position. If the UK has said it would respect the "self determination" of the population and is not willing to discuss this claim with Argentina, shouldn’t then Argentina solve this by means of the Interior Ministry instead of the Foreign Ministry? I say this because if the Argentine Constitution states that the Islands are part of Argentine territory and the Constitution clearly states that "any person who is born in the Argentine territory automatically acquires that nationality," we should then affectionately talk with "undocumented people from Argentina," who prefer not to be part of Argentina and be administered on their own. The Foreign Ministry obviously should continue its work in the UN and add votes and support from more countries but if it comes to improving the situation of the population and gradually offer support, and even recognition of their properties and businesses, as it is done with any other Argentine citizen, perhaps it would be time for the Ministry of Interior and the Government of Tierra del Fuego to offer something in this process.

Retaking the referendum on June 23 and the possible departure of the UE, statistics show an even level between those who want to stay and those who want to leave. If they stay in the UE, everything will remain according to the rules of the current game. If they do not stay, I think we should all look at each other with different eyes.

As an example of the typical English humour, a pub offers both options to its customers.

Andres Loubet-Jambert
Co-Founder & Publisher
Fish Info & services Co.Ltd

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Andres Loubet Jambert
Chairman and Co-Founder of FIS

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