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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > May 2017 > The other British isles

The other British isles

Amid the sheep and battlefields of the Falklands, the diversity is a surprise

The Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic offer a starkly beautiful but treeless landscape of mountains, moorland and rivers. Britain has ruled the Falklands for the best part of two centuries, but scarcely knew it until the Argentinian invasion in 1982.

We flew into Mount Pleasant Airport from Santiago in Chile on the once weekly service from mainland South America. An alternative is to fly with the RAF from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on one of the twiceweekly flights (20 civilian seats available, subject to cancellations.) There is only one proper hotel and a handful of guest houses. Change is always in the offing, although it is difficult to build new infrastructure because the Argentinians refuse to allow more flights over their airspace. And the British won’t allow flights from Argentina at all unless the Argentinians once and for all give up their claim to what they still call the Islas Malvinas.

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In Prospect’s May issue: Neal Ascherson, Simon Jenkins, John Curtice and Frances Cairncross examine the growing divide between England and Scotland. Ascherson argues that England has become Scotland’s “neurotic neighbour,” while Jenkins says we should learn from history and prepare for Scotland to leave the Union. Cairncross and Curtice debate whether Scotland could afford to break with England and whether a fresh referendum on independence is actually winnable. Also in this issue: Jason Burke questions whether the world will be a safer place after the downfall of Islamic State, Paul Hilder examines how politics got tangled in the web and Michael White reviews a new book charting the history of the Daily Mail