London did not grant the EU’s Joao Vale de Almeida the full diplomatic status that is accorded to other ambassadors.
The UK is resisting a European Union request to grant full diplomatic status to the bloc’s ambassador to London, sparking a row between the recently divorced parties which came to light on Thursday.
The UK, an EU member for 47 years, voted to resign in 2016 and completed its torturous journey out of the bloc on December 31, when Brexit came into full force.
The BBC reported that the Foreign Ministry refused to grant the same diplomatic status and privileges to EU Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida and his team as to country envoys, on the grounds that the EU is not a nation state.
The Foreign Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters news agency.
The European Commission, the executive body of the 27-member bloc, said the 143 EU delegations around the world have all been granted status equivalent to state diplomatic missions, and the UK is well aware of this. .
“Granting reciprocal treatment based on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is common practice between equal partners and we are confident that we can resolve this issue with our friends in London in a satisfactory manner,” said Peter Stano, the spokesperson. word of the committee on foreign affairs.
Stano added that when the UK was still a member of the EU, it supported the diplomatic status of EU delegations.
“Nothing has changed since the United Kingdom left the European Union to justify any change in position on the part of the United Kingdom,” he said.
The BBC report quoted the Foreign Office in London as saying: “Engagement continues with the EU on long-term arrangements for the EU delegation to the UK.”
The report says the UK is reluctant to grant full status to EU diplomats in London because it does not want to set a precedent in the eyes of other international organizations.
The EU maintains that this is not a typical international organization.
“Its member states have given it substantial competences, it has the power to adopt binding legislation for its member states, has its own decision-making institutions and its own system of judicial review, and has established a common currency,” Stano said. .