London: Falklands government has set a date for a referendum on the future sovereignty of the islands.
Islanders will go to the polls on March 10-11 to vote on a simple yes or no question: ‘Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?’
The Government of the Falkland Islands has arranged for outside observers to monitor the referendum in order to prove it is free and fair, the Telegraph reports.
Argentina claimed that British forces stole the territory from them 180 years ago and have ruled it as a colony ever since.
According to the report, islanders have predicted an overwhelming vote for ‘yes’.
The authorities in the Falklands hope the vote will send a firm message to Argentina that islanders want to remain with Britain.
The announcement comes a week after defence chiefs drew up new contingency plans to prevent hostile action by Argentina towards the Islands.
Additional troops, another warship and extra RAF Typhoon combat aircraft could be sent to the Falklands ahead of the referendum in the spring, the report added.