UK will not grant EU ambassador full diplomatic status
The Foreign Office refused to deny the European Union’s ambassador full diplomatic status over claims that the bloc should not be treated as a nation state.
The ongoing discussions about the status of the EU ambassador has worsened, revealed the Guardian on Thursday.
Leaks of letters had also revealed that the EU's foreign affairs chief had serious concerns about the situation.
The issue is likely to be discussed at a EU foreign affairs council on 25 January, the first such meeting of member states’ foreign ministers since the post-Brexit transition ended.
If the EU ambassador to the UK, João Vale de Almeida, isn’t granted the status he will also lack the privileges and immunities afforded to diplomats under the Vienna Convention.
Britain argues that if the privileges are given to the EU, other international organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation could request the same treatment.
The bloc currently enjoys full diplomatic status with 142 other countries around the world where it has delegations.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator with the UK, said on the subject: “I know the spin. Sometimes more than the spin from the UK authorities speaking about the EU as like an international organisations, but we are […] the union and the UK took part in the union for more than 47 years.
“I hope that we will be able to get up to find a clever and objective solution to the statute of the EU in London. I think it would be very wise in my view for the UK to find a clever solution.”