Falkland vote: a hollow victory

Regardless of the outcome of the Falkland Island vote on whether to remain a British Overseas Territory, this exercise of democracy is greatly devalued by Britain’s refusal to grant a similar vote to the former residents of another overseas territory, the Chagos Islands.

It is a sad paradox to denounce Argentinian declarations of sovereignty of the Falkland Islands whilst simultaneously exercising unilateral sovereignty over the Chagos Islands – in doing so, ignoring the wishes of those who were expelled from their lands to return.

Moreover, in defending the historic expulsion of natives from their lands and continuing their disenfranchisement over successive administrations, the British Government clearly shows double standards and hypocrisy in choosing to uphold self-determination rights only when it is convenient to its own strategic interests.

Victory in the vote will undoubtedly be trumpeted by the British Government as “the people deciding their future” but in reality it is sadly nothing but a rubber stamping of London’s flawed and inconsistent foreign policy.

Human rights – including the right to self-determination, are universal.

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