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British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983
The British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 was an Act of Parliament passed by the British Parliament and came into force on January 1, 1983. The purpose of the Act was to grant British citizenship to residents of the Falkland Islands, a British Dependent Territory in the South Atlantic. Previously, under the British Nationality Act 1981, residents of the Falkland Islands were classed as British Dependent Territories citizens. Such citizens were restricted in their right to enter and stay in the United Kingdom. The new Act conferred full British citizenship on the residents of the Falkland Islands to give them similar status to citizens in Gibraltar.
The Act was passed mainly in response to Falklands War which was fought between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the sovereignty of the islands. The United Kingdom maintained to stand by the principle of self determination of allowing the Falkland Islanders to decide their own destiny, which was ultimately to be British citizens. It was also argued that the British Nationality Act 1981 had indicated British reluctance to hold the islands, as the residents were not legally full British citizens. After the war ended in victory for the British, this act was passed to clairfy the UK's commitment to the islands.
The Act has been repealed by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002 which granted full British citizenship to all British overseas territories including the Falkland Islands.
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