David Cameron
David Cameron Reuters

The war of words between the UK and Argentina over the Falklands Islands has escalated.

Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs he had approved new contingency plans to increase a military presence on the Falklands in response to Argentianian "colonialism" over the islands.

In September, the country's president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, linked Argentina's claims to the territories to the Palestinian UN statehood bid in September.

Cameron reiterated Britain's stand that the islands' sovereignty was not up for grabs and stated Britain would defend them.

"The key point is we support the Falkland Islanders' right to self-determination," Cameron said.

"What the Argentinians have been saying recently is more like colonialism because these people want to remain British and the Argentinians want them to do something else."

His comments sparked a furious response from Argentina, with officials accusing the UK of "rewriting history".

Foreign minister Hector Timerman said Cameron's comments were offensive. "At a time when there are only remnants of colonialism, Great Britain, in imperial decline, decides to rewrite history," he said.

Held by Britain since 1833, the territories, known by Argentina as the Malvinas, have always been in dispute.