Falkland Islands to hold referendum next year on whether to stay with Britain
London, June 13 (ANI): The Falkland Islands will hold a referendum on whether to remain British in a bid to send a clear 'hands off' message to Argentina.
Officials there said that islanders would vote early next year on the 'political status' of the South Atlantic territory, Express.co.uk reports.
The announcement came as they prepare to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their liberation from Argentine invaders by a British task force.
The islands' government hopes the referendum, likely to almost unanimously endorse remaining with UK, will settle the dispute over sovereignty after renewed claims from Argentina.
It is also expected to fuel demands in Britain for a referendum on the country's membership of the European Union.
Gavin Short, chairman of the islands' legislative assembly, said: "We are holding this referendum not because we have any doubts about who we are and what future we want, but to show the world just how very certain we are".
It will be the first official referendum on the islands, although an opinion poll in the 1980s found that 94.5 per cent wanted to stay British.
David Cameron said: "It is up to the Falkland Islanders themselves to choose whether they want to be British." (ANI)
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