Until war broke out, a solution was never far away. The Argentine and British views were on the verge of being reconciled in 1977 when a Foreign Office minister in the Jim Callaghan’s Labour government, Ted Rowlands, recommended that there should be a compromise whereby the islands would become Argentine sovereign territory but with democratic self-rule and a British way of life. This compromise would not have been unlike the later agreement with China over Hong Kong.
Even when one of her most right-wing ministers took over, Nicholas Ridley, in Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government, the same kind of deal was on the cards. It is the basis of what should be done now.
On the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, it is surely time for a compromise.