"You decide how you want to be governed"

AT his swearing in ceremony on Tuesday the new Governor of the Falkland Islands emphasised that he was here to work with, “the democratically elected representatives of the people,” and it was, “entirely proper that you decide how you wish to be governed, now and in the future.”

Mr Nigel Phillips CBE and his wife Emma arrived in the Falklands on Monday and on Tuesday attended a parade on Victory Green following the official ceremony.

In his speech he noted: “To be Her Majesty’s personal representative, entrusted to ensure that the Constitution of these islands is upheld is a solemn duty. The Constitution to which I refer has not been imposed, but agreed by the democratically elected representatives of the people.”

Mr Phillips said he wished to visit as many communities on the Islands as possible and assured that he wished to, “listen to your views, to understand your aspirations, concerns, hopes and dreams. It is only by doing this that I can faithfully discharge my duty to you.”

He described the people of the Falkland Islands as, “renowned for their self-sufficiency.”  He added: “It is a reputation hard earned and merits respect.  Enduring self-sufficiency is founded in part on the possession of alternatives, the ability to turn to something else when required.  Economies are the same, they need to be diverse if they are to prosper in the long-term.”

I therefore applaud the FIG in its vision of developing a top class education system here.  Our people are our most valuable asset and this generation have a greater range of skills and knowledge than ever before.  Whether it be traditional  industries such as agriculture and the fisheries, emerging sectors such a hydrocarbons, or wealth creating activity yet to be considered, the Falkland Islands has the means to exploit opportunity as it arises.  I look forward to working with the FIG to help deliver its plans to further develop the economy and the vital infrastructure that underpins it. 

Continuing with my theme of looking forward, the Government of the United Kingdom remains committed to the security of these Islands.  The men and women of our armed forces are a visible demonstration of this commitment and I want at this juncture to thank them for their service.  

Reflecting on this commitment, I would contend that the relationship between the Falkland Islands and the United Kingdom is founded on partnership. It is in this spirit that I will work with the Falkland Islands Government, public services, businesses and communities.  It is in partnership that we will face the challenges and opportunities that lie before us, whether that be the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union or developing the Falkland Islands relationship within this region and beyond.