Defiant Michael Fallon is embroiled in a row with the Foreign Office after insisting on heading to the Falklands this week for a patriotic visit.
Mr Fallon will become the first Defence Secretary to visit the islands for 14 years, but mandarins working for Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond fear he risks triggering a diplomatic row at a time when relations with Argentina are showing signs of thawing.
The timing has also aroused the suspicion of ‘Out’ campaigners in the EU referendum, who think it is designed to distract from Tory bickering over Brussels by evoking memories of Margaret Thatcher and by ‘wrapping the Government in the Union Jack’.
The Defence Secretary’s trip – 34 years after the Task Force retook the islands following the Argentine invasion – comes just two months after the end of the eight-year presidency of Cristina Kirchner, who placed the country’s claim over the islands at the heart of her foreign policy.
Her successor, Mauricio Macri, has adopted a less aggressive stance, with his foreign policy adviser declaring: ‘We have to restore this relationship that has been frozen in recent years, as a result of this conflict.’ Read More Here