Issue Report: Falkland Islands, return of

Should the United Kingdom hand over the Falkland Islands to Argentina?

The Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the south-west Atlantic Ocean. They are about 300 miles from Argentina and lie just above the Antarctic circle. Their population is about 2500 with an economy based upon agriculture, fishing, tourism and oil exploration. The islands are claimed by Argentina, where they are known as ‘Las Malvinas’. Attempts by Britain and Argentina to reach a diplomatic agreement in the mid-twentieth century failed. Argentina’s military junta launched an invasion of the islands in 1982 but this was defeated after a major British military operation. About 500 British military personnel are now stationed on the islands. Britain and Argentina restored diplomatic relations after Carlos Menem became President of a democratic Argentina in 1989. Argentina agreed not to press its demands for sovereignty, in return for cooperation on fishing, oil exploration and transport links. There has been less cooperation since Nestor Kirchner became President of Argentina in 2003. For example, flights between Argentina and the islands have been stopped. Kirchner, supported by Hugo Chavez (President of Venezuela), demanded that Britain return the islands. Many British commentators think that Kirchner adopted his tough stance to gain domestic political support. Some understanding of the islands’ history is important in this debate. The islands first appear on European maps in the early-sixteenth century. This suggests that Spanish explorers may have spotted them. John Strong, an Englishman, is the first European known to have actually landed, in 1690. The first European settlement of the islands was by France in 1764. A British settlement was established separately the next year. The islands appear to have been uninhabited at this time, but archaeology shows some previous human activity. Spain purchased France’s rights in the islands in 1767. On 22 January 1771 Britain and Spain signed an agreement where both nations rights were reserved. After this agreement Britain voluntarily abandoned its colony physically (not politically) in 1774, but left a plaque asserting its sovereignty. Spain ruled the islands from Buenos Aires (now the capital of Argentina) without opposition until 1811. Spain then withdrew, leaving the islands uninhabited, but still claimed (none of Spains territories were relinquished in terms of sovereignty until 1836). A significant reason for the dispute is that Britain and Spain simultaneously held claims to sovereignty over the islands from 1767 and as respected in the 1771 agreement. Argentina gained it’s independence unilaterally from Spain in 1816 and today claims to have asserted its sovereignty over the Falklands/ Las Malvinas from that very year, organising some settlement of the islands in the 1820s. However this is strongly disputed as there is no evidence of anyone being sent to the islands with Argentine/Buenos Aires government authority until 1823 and there was no binding universal international law at the time that supported the inheritance (Argentina refers to the principle of Uti Possidetis, but this was not the ‘binding international law’ just a principle). In 1833, Britain militarily evicted the Argentine garrison but did not evict the settlers and did not colonise the islands till 1841. The settlers had been given permission from the British consulate in Buenos Aires to live on the islands along with Louis Vernet in 1828. After 1833 the Buenos Aires province under governor Rosas protested to the British until 1850. In 1850 Britain and Argentina signed the Convention of Settlement Treaty which settled All differences and created Perfect relations between the two nations and the islands remained in British control. There were no further protests from Argentina until they completed their annexation of Patagonia. The Argentine goverment under President Celman tried their luck by protesting in 1888 and offering to take the matter to arbitration. However Britain refused, in view of the 1850 treaty and considered the matter was closed. The Argentine goverment did not continue the protest to Britain and there was not another protest to the British until 1941. In the 90 whole years of non-protest between 1850 and 1941, there were several adminstrative acts on the islands including the formation of a government and immigration without any interference from Argentina.

Self-determination: Do the islanders have a right to self-determination?

Argentina's historical and territorial/geographical claims to the islands are spurious.

Argentina has only ever achieved effective control of the islands, as invaders, for 2 months in 1832 and 2 months in 1982. On each occassion they were ejected by the rightful owners. There has never been a population of ‘Argentines’ on the islands, nor was there any indigineous indians there before the British claimed the islands in 1765. The islanders are therefore the rightful people of the islands and their rights of self determination are fully protected under the UN Charters and Resolutions.

Brits now dominate the Malvinas; self-determination cannot apply

Argentina does not recognize the right to self-determination of the inhabitants of the Malvinas/Falklands, citing that they are not aboriginal and were brought to replace the Argentine population that Argentina claims was expelled after the re-establishment of British rule in 1833. In other words, Britain illegitimately settled the Falklands and now is trying to give these settlers the right to determine their future, which would obviously favor keeping the Malvinas under the British flag. It is illegitimate, therefore, to use “self-determination” to settle this dispute. Argentina’s historical and territorial/geographical claims to the islands are paramount.

Argentina can claim Malvinas and uphold the way of life of inhabitants

Embassy of Argentina in Australia

– “The Argentine Nation ratifies its legitimate and imprescriptible sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich and the corresponding maritime and island spaces, as they are an integral part of the national territory. The recovery of said territories and the full exercise of sovereignty, respectful of the way of life of their inhabitants and in accordance with the principles of International Law, are a permanent and irrenounceable objective of the Argentine people.”

The Argentine population were not expelled, just the military personnel

The Civilian population led by Louis Vernet had permission to be there, the military personnel did not. This accusation is slander as there is no evidence to back this claim

Argentina inspired a poll on the islands in 1994

this proves it’s not the issue of self determination they disprove of it’s the decision they don’t like.

Between 1850 and 1941 there was just one isolated protest to the British over the islands sovereignty in 1888

During these 90 whole years of no protest the islanders made many administrative acts which included immigration without the slightest protest from Argentina which means acquiescence. They didn’t make a protest then it’s immoral they make a protest now.

The Argentine government conquered land from the native peoples in South America years after the British re-establishment, prompting hypocrisy

The fact these people who are mostly white are accusing anyone of stealing land would make a horse laugh. BsAs control grew from the province of BsAs in 1810 to a nation the size of India in 80 years, annexing much land from the native peoples in particular Patagonia. They themselves mounted a campaign of implanting populations in Patagonia during the 1850-1888 period to seize control of land that was left by the Spanish and South American governments for the natives without their consultation. These implanted people, many ironically of British decent (Welsh) are perfectly entitled to Self-Determination according to the Argentine government.

Falkland Islanders have a right to self-determination

Dr. Lyubomir Ivanov. "The Future Of The Falkland Islands And Its People". Feb. 2003

– “The Falklanders are a nation same like the Scots, the Welsh or the English — or the people of Tokelau for that matter. Moreover, their right to self-determination has already been officially and formally recognized and guaranteed by the British Government through the process of enacting the 1985 Falklands Constitution. This act of transfer of prerogatives from London to Stanley entails that any future decisions regarding the sovereignty of the Islands would be up to the Falklanders alone to make, and this is irreversible. Once recognized/granted, the self-determination cannot be taken away.”

Argentina’s allegations are unproven in an international tribunal

Unless Argentina’s allegations are proven in an international Court the Islanders cannot be subject to any sanctions of any kind regardless. Argentina has deliberately avoided taking the matter to the International Court of Justice, attempting to use the ‘veto’ excuse. This of course is nonsense, as it never stopped Cameroon taking Britain to the ICJ in 1971 and the USA and USSR taking each other. Argentina recently took Uruguay to the ICJ.

Falkland Islands adopted a motion to remain British in 1977.

In 1977 the Falkland Islands Legislative Council adopted a motion that conveyed the will of the inhabitants to remain British. Therefore, the people of the Falkland Islands and their representatives have already excercised their right of self-determination, and determined to remain British.

The vast majority of Falkland Islanders want to remain British.

The wishes of the current inhabitants of the islands should be paramount. The islanders overwhelmingly consider themselves British and do not want to be ruled by Argentina. In an Argentine-inspired poll in 1994, 87% of the island’s population rejected any form of discussion of sovereignty under any circumstances. Their right of self-determination should be respected. Unless and until the islanders want to be ruled by Argentina, Britain should not abandon them.

Britain expelled the military garrison in 1833, but did not expel the colony.

There is ample evidence that Vernet’s colony was not expelled during the British take over and not a shred of evidence that it was. Population Evolution for links regarding the evolution of the population from 1826 – 1834, before and after British takeover.

Rights to self-determination not limited to aboriginal peoples.

There is nothing in international law or in any UN resolution that limits the rights of self-determination to territories with aboriginal peoples. In fact several territories that are or were on the UN’s list of Non Self-Governing Territories do not have aboriginal populations: Currently on the list: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena (inc Tristan da Cunha), Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands. Formerly on the list: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Cabo Verde, Cocos Islands, Guadaloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Mauritius, Réunion, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Seychelles

Spain's prerogative to complain about Britain's actions in 1833 not Argentina's.

In 1833 Spain had not relinquished her own claim to the Falklands, in fact she did not begin to relinquish any of her territories in the Americas till 1836, did not recognise Argentina till 1859, and when she recognised Argentina no transfer or cession of sovereignty over the Falklands took place, so it was Spain’s prerogative to complain about what Britain did in 1833 not Argentina’s. And Spain never did.

Geography: Do the Falklands belong to Argentina on the basis of geography?

Geography is irrelevant.

Just because somewhere looks close on a map of the world does not mean that they should belong to the nearest greater land mass. A childish argument that has no relevance to any serious debate about the islanders rights and freedoms.

The Malvinas are far closer to Argentina (300m) than Britain (8000m).

The Malvinas are closer to Argentina than any other country in the world (300 miles). They are, however, on the other side of the Earth from Britain (8000 miles away). Modern nation states should not have territorial claims on the other side of the Earth, particularly when a modern nation state directly adjacent to the territory under consideration claims the territory. In this sense of the relative distance of the Malvinas islands from Britain and Argentina, Britain’s claim to the islands is reminiscent of Britain’s colonial past, is wrong, and should be ended.

The Malvinas Islands are part of the South American continental shelf.

Argentina claims the islands partly on the basis of the fact that the Malvinas are on the South American continental shelf, adjacent to the Argentinian coast. Because the islands are geographically contiguous with the South American continent, they should be either owned by Argentina or become entirely independent. Again, British ownership of these South American islands is reminiscent of its colonial past, is wrong, and should be ended.[1]

There are plenty of overseas territories from several different nations all over the world that are not disputed by the other closest nations.

The islands are also 0 miles from the islanders who are self governing.

Malvinas are not considered part of South America

Hugh McManners. Forgotten Voices of the Falklands

– “At their closest to Argentina, the Falklands are some two hundred and fifty miles from the tip of Tierra del Fuego, and over three hundred and fifty miles from the nearest Patagonian coast, and are not considered to be joined to South America’s continental shelf”

Argentina has an imperial past

After recognition from Spain, Argentina began the annexation of Patagonia which was left to the native people and involved genocide. They are in no position to lecture the British on imperialism. Even though Argentina is still considerably closer to the Islands the UK, This annexation process inevitably brought the islands closer to BsAs control.

It is irrelevant whether Malvinas are part of South America

Hugh McManners. Forgotten Voices of the Falklands

– “International law regards various offshore distances as being of significance to territorial disputes: three miles, seven miles and twenty-one miles, with two hundred miles as an absolute limit. Territorial contiguity (via an undersea continental shelf) does not seem to have much force in international law; otherwise presumably the Canaries would belong to Morocco.”

Discovery: Did Spain or Britain first discover the Falklands/Malvinas?

A few notable dates :

1690 – the waterway between the two islands is named ‘Falkland Sound’ by Captain John Strong from the ship Welfare. 1712 – the name ‘Falkland Islands’ is used in a publication describing the Welfare’s journey. 1716 – a French map refers to the islands as ‘Les Isles Nouvelles’. 1722 – a new French map refers to the islands as ‘Les Iles Malouines’. 1764 – France founds a settlement on the Falkland Islands at Port Loius but makes no formal claim. 1765 – Captain John Byron explores the islands and claims them for King George III as the Falkland Islands. 1766 – Captain John MacBride founds the settlement of Port Egmont , named after the sponsor of the Byron expedition. Cattle, goats, sheep and pigs taken to the islands. 1767 – France cedes Port Louis to Spain in exchange for compensation. Port Louis is renamed Puerto Soledad. Captain John McBride of HMS Jason is Military Commander of Port Egmont. Spain only seems to have noticed the islands in 1767.

Spanish explorer Megellan was first to discover Malvinas

Embassy of Argentina in Australia

– “For most of the 16th century only navigators in the service of Spain traveled the maritime routes along the South American coast, advancing southwards in their search for an inter-oceanic passage. In this process the Malvinas Islands were discovered by members of Magellan’s expedition of 1520. From that moment on they were recorded on European maps under a variety of names and remained under effective control of the Spanish authorities.”

Only tenuous evidence that Magellan discovered Malvinas

"The Argentine Seizure Of The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands", History and Diplomacy. Global Security. 1987

– “The British maintain that the Spanish claim that Magellan discovered the Islands in 1540 rests on imprecise evidence.”

British explorers were the first to discover the Islands

"The Argentine Seizure Of The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands", History and Diplomacy. Global Security. 1987

– “British explorers were the first to discover the Islands: John Davis in 1592 and Sir John Hawkins in 1594 and the first known landing on the Islands was by British Captain John Strong in 1690.”

History of sovereignty: Had Spain controlled the Malvinas more than Britain?

Spain's discovery and control of Malvinas was recognized in treaties

Embassy of Argentina in Australia

– “For most of the 16th century only navigators in the service of Spain travelled the maritime routes along the South American coast, advancing southwards in their search for an inter-oceanic passage. In this process the Malvinas Islands were discovered by members of Magellan’s expedition of 1520. From that moment on they were recorded on European maps under a variety of names and remained under effective control of the Spanish authorities.”

Spain had purchased the Islands from France in 1767.

France was the first country to establish a settlement on the Islands. By international law, mere sightings of new territories are considered insufficient to establish legal claim to them. On the basis of the Treaty of Utrecht, signed in 1713, England and France formally agreed to Spanish sovereignty over its traditional territories in the Americas, including the Islands, Spain had objected. France, Spain’s ally, was willing to negotiate and sold Port Louis to Spain in 1767.

Spain peacefully occupied Malvinas until Argentinian independence in 1816.

The Islands were peacefully occupied and administered by 19 Spanish governors from 1774 until Argentina declared independence in 1816.

Argentina built public facilities on the Malvinas Islands.

Permanent settlements were built by Argentina in the 1820s. Previous settlements by France, Spain and Britain had been impermanent. Britain did not protest when the Argentinean settlements were first established. The Argentinean settlements were only ended by illegal British military force. Britain’s subsequent settlement of the islands was therefore illegal.

This question is of no real relevance as Spain recognised Britains rights to the islands in 1771

This agreement can only be cancelled mutually. (P7)

Britain never accepted Spanish Sovereignty

"The Argentine Seizure Of The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands", History and Diplomacy. Global Security. 1987

– “Britain never accepted the Spanish claim to sovereignty over the Islands based on purchase from France.”

Britain has peacefully controlled the Falklands for two centuries.

Spain had control over Puerto Soledad between 1767 and 1811 and never ventured outside of that restricted area as deemed by the agreement of 1771. After 1811, Spain never returned and effectively abandoned its claim. The British claim runs from 1765 and has never been abandoned, having been continued, in the absence of a garrison, by whaling and sealing ventures. Having peacefully controlled the Falkland islands for nearly two-hundred years now (since 1833), Britain has upheld the doctrine of prescription, which states that sovereignty of a territory can be established by peaceful occupation over a period of time.[2]

Argentina's historical claim to the Falklands is too outdated.

Nations often can claim that they, or their ancestors, once controlled a territory. But, if all of these claims were recognized, the world’s boundaries would be in turmoil, as many separate peoples would have a legitimate claim to some territory. To get around this problem, we must give precedent to more modern and contemporary historical claims. Since Britain has controlled the Falklands for nearly two-hundred years, its claim takes precedence. Moreover the arguement is backed by the unanimous support of the islanders themselves claiming to be British citizens.

Abandoned claims: Did Britain ever abandon its claim to the Falklands?

Britain abandoned the Malvinas between 1774 and 1833.

British did not claim the Islands when Spain left them in 1811. Britain recognized Argentina’s independence in 1825 but made no claim at that time to the Islands which were then governed by Argentina.

Plaque left after Britain left the Malvinas in 1774 limits their claim

"The Argentine Seizure Of The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands", History and Diplomacy. Global Security. 1987

– “The plaque left by the British when they abandoned Port Egmdnt in 1774 refers to only one ‘island’ on which Port Egmont is located.”

UK planned to give the Falkland Islands to Argentina

"1968 Secret History- The Falklands War of 1982 might never have been necessary"

The UK Government prepared a secret deal in 1968 to give Argentina ownership of the Falkland Islands, it has been revealed. An Argentine draft Memorandum of Understanding, largely accepted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is one of the documents released after 30 years of being locked in government vaults. Dated 5 July 1968, it reads: “The government of the United Kingdom will recognise Argentine sovereignty over the islands with effect from a date to be agreed.”

Britain did not abandon its claim, it evacuated the settlement.

The islands were regularly settled for short periods of time by English whalers and sealers. Evacuating the islands but visiting regularly can hardly be seen as ‘abandonment’. When Jewett made his ‘claim’ on behalf of Argentina, there were already 50 U.s. and British ships at anchor.

The 1820-1825 Jewett/treaty story is a fallacy.

The British had no reason to believe Argentina had inherited the islands in 1816 as there was no BsAs authority on the islands at the time of independence. The claim Argentina took possession of the Islands in 1820 with the arrival of the American Privateer David Jewett is also a falsehood. There is no evidence of the Argentine government giving Jewett orders to take possession of those Islands, so it obviously couldn’t be taken as so by anyone present on the islands. When Jewett returned he wrote a report mentioning nothing of the claim. Also the then BsAs government made no public announcement of the ‘taking of possession’, so there could be no reaction. When the UK signed that treaty in 1825, there was nobody from Argentina on those islands, so there was no authority to recognise. The treaty made no reference to the extent of the BsAs controlled territory let alone mentions the islands.

Britains rights are not justified by only a plaque, that is a ridiculous assertion.

They are justified by the 1771 agreement with Spain where both nations respected each others rights to the islands. As long as Spain had rights Britain also had rights unless the treaty was cancelled by agreement. See page 7

Britain never relinquished its claim to the Falklands

"The Argentine Seizure Of The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands", History and Diplomacy. Global Security. 1987

– “The British never relinquished their claim to the Islands when they abandoned Port Egmont in 1774. Proof lies in the plaque which was left behind.”

“…Britain had protested the Government of Buenos Aires’ 1828 appointment of Louis Vernet as governor of the Islands and asserted at that time that the British Crown had not permanently abandoned the Islands when they left them in 1774.”

Spain vacated her settlement in 1811.

Any argument against Britain allegedly abandoning its claim to the Falklands is negated by the fact that Spain abandoned its settlements in the Malvinas in 1811. If both abandoned there claims for some period of time, neither can use the other’s abandonment of the islands as evidence for their side. If Spain was the only one to abandon its claim to the Falklands, Britain can use this argument in its favor.

Britain secured it's rights with the Spanish in the 1771 agreement.

This agreement could only be cancelled by agreement of the two nations. As long as Spain had rights the British had rights too. Physical abandonment does not mean political abandonment in a sovereignty case regardless.

1833: Did Britain acquire the Falklands by illegitimate means then?

Britain usurped the Malvinas in 1833 by illegitimate means

"The Argentine Seizure Of The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands", History and Diplomacy. Global Security. 1987

– “Argentines insist they perfected their title to the Islands during the years from 1829 to 1833 and that displacement of her citizens by Britain in 1833 was ‘an act of usurpation carried out by illegal means.'”

Vernet and his settlers had British permission to be on the islands.

The Argentine forces did not and they were expelled. Britains rights to the islands were secured by the 1771 agreement and the intervention of a third party (BsAs authority) on the islands allowed the UK’s return under the Nookta sound convention. There was no binding universal law or tribunial that proved Spain and Britain lost their rights to the islands or that BsAs had gained them.

Britain acted entirely legally.

Vernett’s settlement was with the permission of the British Consul who had been approached by Vernett. There is some evidence that Vernett was playing both sides against the middle. Not that Vernett’s settlement was affected by the British actions in 1833. HMS Clio required only the trespassing Argentine garrison to leave and that garrison had only been on the islands 2 months. Charles Dawin’s diary clearly shows that on his visit on 1st March 1833 there were 22 ‘settlers’ most of whom were Argentine workers for Vernett. He also mentioned one Englishman who had been on the islands “for some years”. Vernett added 7 more workers to the settlement shortly afterwards. In ejecting the illegal Argentine garrison, HMS Clio was asserting the British claim of 1765. Jewett’s claim of the islands for ‘Argentina’ in 1820 cannot stand because: a)the claim was for the United Provinces of South America which had ceased to exist as a unified ‘nation’ that same year, and went on to become Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay, b) the islands already had two claimants neither of which had ‘abandoned’ their claims, and c) in the eyes of the two existing claimants, Spain and Britain, there was no such place as ‘Argentina’ (recognised by the British in 1825 and Spain in 1859). As such Jewett was merely restating the Spanish claim.

Argentinian independence: Did Argentina inherit the Malvinas upon gaining independence?

Argentina properly inherited the Islands from Spain in 1816.

The Malvinas Islands were formerly ruled by Spain from Buenos Aires. When Argentina gained independence in 1816, it naturally inherited the Malvinas Islands from Spain.

Argentina's inheritance claim is self righteous as there was no binding universal international law at that time, meaning no rights for inheriting land they did not control during their unilateral independence

Uti Possidetis juris was not international law until the 1940’s. The ancient theory of Uti Posseditis what was never the international law at the time. It was just a theory or ‘principle’ back then as there was no no binding universal international law in the 1800’s to control nations. So this claim is nothing more than a self righteous falsehood, and cannot be legally binding. It was never Argentina’s right, especially when they never controlled it during the independence period.

Argentina’s independence was unilateral; no claim to Falklands.

A unilateral state is only entitled to claim what it controls at the time of independence nothing more, and that has never been any different. There is no evidence of anyone being ordered to travel to those island by BsAs authority until 1823, 7 years after your own unilateral independence of 1816. Argentina tried to colonise the islands that’s the truth. Argentina often attempts to make the comparison with the USA’s independence claim. However this is false as the USA only claimed what they controlled what at the time of independence, the 13 states.

Spain did not recognise Argentina until 1859,

26 years after Britain had reasserted its earlier claim. It is highly debatable whether a revolting colony can inherit anything and in Spain’s recognition of Argentina it failed to provide for any inheritance. Indeed how can anyone inherit something that’s long been lost?

Argentina had no more right to Falklands than Britain

"The Argentine Seizure Of The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands", History and Diplomacy. Global Security. 1987

– “Britain insists that Argentina had no more right to claim inheritance of the Islands after she declared her independence from Spain in 1816 than over other separate and independent countries such as Uruguay and Paraguay.”

Unilateral secession does not confer rights of territorial inheritance.

A territorial inheritance or succession requires a territorial cession. Argentina achieved its independence by violent means against the opposition of Spain who did not begin the recognise the independence of any of her American colonies till 1836. When she recognised Argentina in 1859, no cession of sovereignty over the Falklands took place. Argentina can no more inherit what Spain never ceded to her, than a man can inherit from his father what his father never left him in his will.

Secret deal: Did Britain secretly agree to give the Malvinas to Argentina?

Britain secretly promised to abandon its claim before 1771.

Britain made these promises during negotiations leading to the peace declarations of 1771.

UK planned to give the Falkland Islands to Argentina

"1968 Secret History- The Falklands War of 1982 might never have been necessary"

The UK Government prepared a secret deal in 1968 to give Argentina ownership of the Falkland Islands, it has been revealed. An Argentine draft Memorandum of Understanding, largely accepted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is one of the documents released after 30 years of being locked in government vaults. Dated 5 July 1968, it reads: “The government of the United Kingdom will recognise Argentine sovereignty over the islands with effect from a date to be agreed.”

The terms 'prepared' 'will' and 'draft'are not binding just speculation.

Since the implementation of resolution 1514 the British government has always maintained it would only transfer sovereignty if the population requested it. Spain recognised Britains rights to the islands in 1771 allowing the British to physically leave the islands. This agreement can only be cancelled mutually. Physical abandonment does not mean politcal abandonment. Argentina claims the islands are theirs despite the fact nobody with BsAs authority orders to do so, set one foot on the islands until 1823 (7 years after independence and 13 after taking control of BsAs)


Actually it went something like this:

1769 – Captain Anthony Hunt, HMS Tamar is Military Commander of Port Egmont. (Nov) Hunt requires a Spanish schooner seen surveying the area, to leave. The Governor of Puerto Soledad objects, stating that the islands are Spanish. Captain Hunt responds by indicating that the islands are British by right of first discovery and settlement.

1770 – Hunt returns to Britain leaving Captain Farmer in command of the garrison. (June) Hunt brings the first message of Spanish claims to the government. (4th) 5 frigates, 1600 men, 27 cannon, 4 mortars and 200 bombs under the command of Madariaga arrive from Buenos Aries to force the British to leave. (10th) A few shots are exchanged and the outnumbered British commander capitulates. (Aug) Madrid receives notice of the action. (Oct) Britain confirms the information and prepares for war. Negotiations between the British and Spanish courts commence.

1771 – Without French support the Spanish back down and the Ambassador to Britain, Prince Masseran, delivers a declaration stating that the Spanish King “disavows the violent enterprise of Buccarelli,” and promises “to restore the port and fort called Egmont, with all the artillery and stores, according to the inventory.” The injury was acknowledged and satisfied. The Spanish stated that their ‘satisfaction’ did not “ … preclude the question of prior right …” This preservation of a Spanish claim caused an outcry in Britain in answer to which Samuel Johnson prepared his ‘Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Falkland’s Islands 1771’. The British return to Port Egmont. Spain also maintains its settlement at Puerto Soledad, administered by Buenos Aries.

There is no evidence of any agreement to hand the islands over to the Spanish.

Indeed, as Spain had backed down, there were recriminations within Britain as to why more concessions had not been demanded. Suggestions of any agreement is a fantasy. The ‘satisfaction’ demanded, and granted, was a return to the status quo.

Britain never secretly agreed to give Falklands to Argentina

"The Argentine Seizure Of The Malvinas (Falkland) Islands", History and Diplomacy. Global Security. 1987

– “The British disavow knowledge of the “secret understanding” which Spain alleged was made prior to the signing of the exchange of peace declarations in 1771. The British declaration made no comment on the issue of sovereignty. The British claim both sides accepted a return to the status quo.”

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