Feetham writes to Corbyn over “antiquated” view of overseas territories
GSD Leader Daniel Feetham has written to the Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn because of the implications his comments regarding the Falkland Islands could have on Gibraltar.
This comes after Mr Corbyn said the UK should look for an “accommodation” with Argentina over the Falkland Islands.
Mr Feetham said that “while the comment was not directed at Gibraltar it does have implications for us as it probably reflects his thinking on Gibraltar too”.
He added that the comments “betray very muddled and antiquated left wing view of the Overseas Territories generally and Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands in particular”.
Mr Feetham said the Labour Leader’s comments were based on the view that Britain’s Overseas Territories are a vestige of Britain’s imperial past and that the United Kingdom should, therefore, be rid of them.
“It takes no account of the fact that the people in these territories feel as British as anyone in the United Kingdom and that the United Kingdom has a responsibility to respect their wishes,” Mr Feetham stated.
“Otherwise, the United Kingdom would be acting with the same colonial autocracy and disregard for the rights of people as the colonial powers did hundreds of years ago.”
“This is the irony of people who think like Mr Corbyn; their views are as colonial as those of the days of empire which he instinctively so dislikes.”
Mr Feetham underscored that there is only one principle that matters in these cases; self-determination.
“Anyone adhering to basic socialist principles of social and civil justice ought to understand that,” he said.
Mr Corbyn did say that the Falkland “islanders have an enormous say” in any accommodation reached by the United Kingdom and Argentina.
But, Mr Feetham said it is about much more than that.
He said: “It is about the Falkland Islanders having the right to choose their own future and no one else having the right to enter into any kind of process of negotiation about that future without their prior consent.”
“Those are the commitments provided to Gibraltar by successive UK Governments and, as a democrat, he would do well to remember that.”