Britain summoned Argentina's top diplomat on Wednesday to explain a minister's proposed boycott of British goods and a decision to stop two cruise ships docking in the country, as tensions rise over the disputed Falkland Islands.
Given our concerns over the recent incidents with the cruise ships in Ushuaia, and now these latest reports, we summoned the Argentine charge this afternoon for an explanation, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said Britain had called on the European Union to lodge a collective protest with Buenos Aires.
Industry Minister Debora Giorgi urged at least 20 business leaders on Tuesday to replace British imports with ones from countries that respect Argentina's sovereignty claims.
On Monday, two British-linked cruise ships that had visited the Falklands, known in Argentina as the Malvinas, were denied permission to dock in Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province.
Tensions between London and Buenos Aires are rising ahead of the 30th anniversary of a 10-week war they fought after Argentina invaded the South Atlantic archipelago, a British overseas territory over which it has a sovereignty claim.
London has refused to start talks demanded by Buenos Aires on the islands' sovereignty unless the 3,000 Falklands residents call for them, which they show no signs of doing.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron said the proposed boycott was counter-productive and also a complete misreading of Britain's resolve on this issue.
We are also a major investor in Argentina and we import goods from Argentina. It is not in Argentina's economic interest to put up barriers. The right approach here is one of cooperation not confrontation, he said.
The Foreign Office called in Argentina's charge d'affaires, Osvaldo Marsico, to explain the situation.
Oil exploration off the islands by British companies has raised the stakes in the decades-long territorial spat.
The government is sending a message to those who still use colonialism as a way to gain access to others' natural resources, the source said.
(Additional reporting by Adrian Croft and Tim Castle; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)