Andrew Rosindell, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the British Overseas Territories, was speaking after an insider highlighted the controversial Argentinian website’s publication of a poll indicating support for Scottish independence. The source suggested the move was motivated by a belief the disintegration of the UK will make it easier for Buenos Aires to gain sovereignty over the remote archipelago in the south Atlantic.
The story, carried on the Agenda Malvinas website, comes against a backdrop of increased tensions, with Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez keen to put the issue of sovereignty firmly back on the agenda.
Mr Rosindell, who is MP for Romford, told Express.co.uk: “It comes as no surprise that there are those in Argentina who would love to see our enormously successful union break apart.
“They are still sore about the lesson that Mrs Thatcher taught the Argentine government in 1982, when they illegally invaded Her Majesty’s territory and were rightly ejected.
“They should know by now that when Britain and British people are threatened, our nation will not hesitate to fight back.”
Nevertheless, Mr Rosindell said it was correct to perceive a link between the constitutional statuses of the Falkland Islands and Scotland.
He explained: “In both cases Her Majesty’s government granted the people of Scotland and the Falkland Islands the right to self-determination in referendums.
“Do they not realise that no matter how many times the Falklanders are asked they will always answer the same way: they are British and proud!?”
The IpsosMORI survey, published earlier this month, suggested 58 percent of Scots currently back independence, compared with 42 percent who are opposed to the idea.
Express.co.uk’s source, who has an in-depth knowledge of the situation, said: “Argentine nationalists hope that the breakup of the UK would so weaken what was left of Britain that it would be relatively easy for Argentina to get control of the Falklands.
“The Falklands bear the name of a town in Scotland, the Scots Guards fought valiantly liberating the Islands in 1982, and many Islanders are of Scottish descent.
“But the SNP disregards the effect Scottish independence would have on Britain’s ability to defend the Islands both diplomatically and militarily.
“And I can’t imagine an independent Scotland contributing to the cost of the garrison, or being able to contribute much in the way of ships, planes, or ground forces in the event of another Argentine attack.”
Argentina, led at the time by Leopoldo Galtieri, invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982.
UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dispatched a task force which liberated the islands after a 10-week war.
However, the South American country has never reliquished its claim.