Boris Johnson message: Falklands are part of the Great British family
The traditional Christmas and New Year message from the UK’s Prime Minister to the people of the Falkland Islands was published in the last 2021 edition of the Penguin News.
In his brief message, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praises Falklands’ for the Corona virus vaccination campaign, anticipating a more normal Christmas, and recalling the 40th anniversary of the libration of the Islands in 2022, reaffirms British steadfast commitment to the Falklands and its people.
And with a touch of Boris irony points out that in 2021 even the International Table Tennis Federation recognized, in the face of noisy protests from some quarters, the inviolable sovereignty of Falklands table-tennis players and wiff-waffers. (*)
”Hi folks, Boris Johnson here in Downing Street, wishing a very happy Christmas to everyone in the Falkland Islands.
And even though the Omicron variant proves that Corona Virus is not behind us yet, I’m sure that this Christmas will be significantly happier than the last one.
Because thanks to the combined efforts of your government, this government, KEMH and everyone who kept the airbridge open, you have successfully vaccinated a staggering 97% of the Falklands’ adult population.
That’s one of the highest vaccination rates anywhere in the world and something you can all be very proud of.
As I speak, boosters are going into arms right across the archipelago.
And, while the last thing any of us should want to do right now is relax, I’m sure that you will be as hopeful and confident as I am that the Islands can look forward to a much more normal 2022.
A year in which the Islands can fully reopen to tourism and the commercial flights to South America can get up and running once again. A year in which your newly elected government can get on with the job that you elected them to do.
And, of course, a year in which we can all properly mark, remember, the 40th anniversary of the invasion, occupation, and liberation of your Islands.
Over those four decades, so much about the world has changed beyond all recognition. But one thing that remains absolutely unaltered is the United Kingdom’s commitment to the Falkland Islands and their people. It’s a commitment every bit as steadfast as it was when Major-General Moore accepted the surrender from General Menendez.
And I can promise you now, that is not going to change.
After all, 2021 was the year in which even the International Table Tennis Federation recognized, in the face of noisy protests from some quarters, the inviolable sovereignty of Falklands table tennis players and wiff-waffers.
And as long as you and your fellow islanders wish to remain under the umbrella of the British Overseas Territories, that is exactly where you’re gonna stay.
It’s always best to celebrate Christmas with your nearest and dearest, and the Falkland Islands have been part of the great British family since the days of John Strong (**).
So from everyone here in the UK to everyone there in the South Atlantic, have a very merry Christmas, and a happy new year”