Falkland Islands: Ministry of Defence rubbishes claims the islands have been left unprotected

James Nickerson
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The people of the Falklands voted to remain an overseas territory of the UK in 2013

The Ministry of Defence has defended itself against claims that it has left the Falkland Islands unprotected due to there being no British warship stationed in the south Atlantic.

The defence comes after the Independent reported that the islands had been left without the protection of a British frigate or destroyer for the first time since the 1982 conflict.

But a Ministry of Defence spokesperson said that the Falklands remain "well protected" by HMS Clyde and 1,200 UK personnel operating RAF Typhoons and ground defences.

Still, shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry told the Independent that the current situation is unacceptable and that a warship should be sent to the islands immediately.

Three years ago, the people of the Falklands voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining a UK overseas territory.

However, last week the Argentinian foreign ministry jumped on the findings of a UN commission that expand the country's maritime territory into the south Atlantic Ocean, to renew its claims over the islands.

The Falklands is a British overseas territory, meaning the MoD is obliged to protect it.

To that effect, back in February defence secretary Michael Fallon became the first minister to visit the islands in more than a decade .