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The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic comprising two main islands, East and West Falkland, and approximately 776 smaller islands and islets. They are situated 300 miles from the southern extremity of Argentina and 8,000 miles from the United Kingdom. The Falklands are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, but they are also claimed by Argentina, which calls them Las Malvinas. The Falkland Islands are an Associated Territory of the European Union. In 2013, the Falkland Islands held referendum on whether or not to maintain the Islands’ status as a British Overseas Territory. The Falklands voted in favour of remaining an Overseas Territory by 1513 votes to three.

The Falklands War began in April 1982, when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and captured the capital Port Stanley. Following fighting both on land and at sea, the British forces regained control in June 1982. Nearly 650 Argentine soldiers were killed, and over 250 British service personnel died.

This briefing was updated on 1 August 2022 to clarify ambiguities in section ‘Sovereignty over the Falkland Islands’. 

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