BRITISH diplomats have been enraged after the European Union appeared to endorse the Argentine name for the Falkland Islands.

At a summit of EU chiefs with leaders from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), Brussels supported a declaration naming the archipelago off the coast of Argentina as Islas Malvinas.

Buenos Aires has hailed the declaration – which also referenced the English name for the islands – as a “diplomatic triumph”, reports The Guardian.

The concerns of UK diplomats were reportedly brushed off by an EU official, who told the Financial Times: “If they were in the EU perhaps they would have pushed back against it.”

The official added: “This was agreed by 27 member states and the Celac countries.

READ MORE: Falklands have as much right to self-determination as Scotland does

“We cannot issue a statement on their behalf.

“The UK is not part of the EU. They are upset by the use of the word Malvinas. If they were in the EU perhaps they would have pushed back against it.”

Leaders in Argentina, which claims the UK territory as its own, said it was the first time the EU had recognised their country’s position on the islands.

The declaration, backed by almost all Celac countries, said: “Regarding the question of sovereignty over the Islas Malvinas/Falkland Islands, the European Union took note of Celac’s historical position based on the importance of dialogue and respect for international law in the peaceful solution of disputes.”

The National:

Nicaragua did not sign the declaration because of concerns about its language in light of the war in Ukraine, The Guardian reported.

Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the European External Action Service – the EU’s diplomatic service – said: “The EU member states have not changed their views/positions concerning the Falklands/Malvinas Islands.

“The EU is not in a situation to express any position on the Falklands/Malvinas, as there has not been any council [of member states] discussion or decision on this matter.”

He added: “The EU does not take any position on such issues without a council mandate.”

Rishi Sunak criticised the EU for a “regrettable choice of words” over the Falkland Islands, Downing Street has said.

His official spokesman told reporters: “The Prime Minister’s view is that it would have been entirely unacceptable for the EU to question the Falkland Islanders’ right to decide their own future.

“To be clear, the Falkland Islands are British, that was the choice of the islanders themselves.

The National: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urged voters to back him (Lucy North/PA)

“The EU has rightly now clarified that their position on the Falklands has not changed after their regrettable choice of words.

“And just as a reminder, in the 2013 referendum, 99.8% of islanders voted to be part of the UK family. It’s a position supported by international law and the UN Charter which is binding on all UN members.

“And we will continue to defend the Falklands’ right to self-determination in all international forums and have called on the EU to respect the democratic rights of the Falkland Islands.”

He added: “The concern is any suggestion that EU states would recognise Argentina’s claims on the Falklands, which they have now clarified is incorrect.”

Britain went to war in the 1980s when Argentina, then a military dictatorship, attempted to wrest back control of the islands.