Brexit LIVE: UK plans major change after reminding EU who’s in charge – ‘Chilling effect’
Brexit may 'ignite true reform' in the EU says MEP
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Brexit Britain is now set to grant full diplomatic status to the European Union’s ambassador to the UK. It comes after the Government pointedly challenged whether EU officials should be automatically granted the benefits which come with the role.
The move appeared a purposeful effort to assert the UK’s new sovereignty outside of the bloc.
The message delivered and No10 now appears happy to grant the EU’s ambassador full status.
Some Foreign Office insiders warned the move had had an “unhealthy, chilling effect” on relations between the UK and the EU, The Times reports.
João Vale de Almeida took up the position as EU ambassador in February 2020, shortly after the Brexit withdrawal agreement was sealed.
He was not granted the same privileges afforded to diplomats under the Vienna Convention – sparking a row between London and Brussels.
Brussels previously said the EU’s 143 delegations and staff around the world had been accorded a status equivalent to countries’ embassies.
Without the protections of the Vienna Convention diplomats do not benefit from immunity from detention, criminal jurisdiction and taxation.
A senior Government source said this week: “I think it will be resolved sooner rather than later.
“It is a silly dispute but has had a corrosive effect.”
The change in status comes as MEPs formally ratified the Trade and Corporation Agreement.
The European Parliament announced on Wednesday that MEPs have finally approved the trade deal which was agreed by both sides last December.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the deal “marks the foundation of a strong and close partnership with the UK”.
Boris Johnson added: “This week is the final step in a long journey, providing stability to our new relationship with the EU as vital trading partners, close allies and sovereign equals.
“Now is the time to look forward to the future and to building a more global Britain.”
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