The EU signed a declaration with Argentina, which referred to the Falklands in their Argentinian name, “Islas Malvinas”.
The document published after a two-day meeting of the EU and the ‘CELAC’ block of 33 Latin American countries. It read: “Regarding the question of sovereignty over the Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands, the European Union took note of CELAC’s historical position based on the importance of dialogue and respect for international law in the peaceful solution of disputes.”
The British PM’s official spokesman said prime-minister Rishi Sunak believed it to be “entirely unacceptable for the EU to question the Falkland Islanders’ right to decide their own future”.
He siad: “To be clear, the Falkland Islands are British, that was the choice of the islanders themselves.
“The EU has rightly now clarified that their position on the Falklands has not changed after their regrettable choice of words.
“And just as a reminder, in the 2013 referendum, 99.8 percent of islanders voted to be part of the UK family. It’s a position supported by international law and the UN Charter which is binding on all UN members.
“And we will continue to defend the Falklands’ right to self-determination in all international forums and have called on the EU to respect the democratic rights of the Falkland Islands.”
He added: “The concern is any suggestion that EU states would recognise Argentina’s claims on the Falklands, which they have now clarified is incorrect.”
British diplomats had been on a warpath against the EU trying to reverse their decision to use the Argentinian nationalist slogan “Islas Malvinas”, used by those who deny the island’s British heritage.
The Argentinian government hailed the text as a “diplomatic triumph” regarding it as evidence of European support for their right to the sovereign territory.
Former Defence Minister Alec Shelbrooke told the Mail that the EU is being “petty” and “trying to upset the UK because we left them”.
He said: “If the EU want to start overriding Article 1 of the UN, which is that people have the right to self-determination… then they are once again playing into the hands of those who say they are not a democratic organisation.”
Multiple veterans who fought in the Falklands War and lost friends have told Express.co.uk that they are disgusted with the EU after it used the term Islas Malvinas in official documentation.
British diplomats requested that Charles Michel, the European Council president, “clarify” the bloc’s position.
However, an EU official, citing Brexit as a reason, said that the decision was “agreed by 27 member states and the CELAC countries”. They told the ‘Financial Times’: “We cannot issue a statement on their behalf… The UK is not part of the EU. They are upset by the use of the word Malvinas. If they were in the EU perhaps they would have pushed back against it.”