The United
Kingdom and the European Union find themselves at an impasse as London
refuses to recognise the bloc’s diplomatic status following Brexit.

The EU set
up a European delegation in London after Britain left the 27-member bloc in January 2020.
However, a number of issues developed over the diplomatic privileges bestowed
upon the EU ambassador to the UK, Joao Vale de Almeida, on the same day Britain
named its own envoy in Brussels.

Also Read | Germany’s logistics company temporarily suspends UK deliveries over Brexit red tape

The EU has
called for its ambassador to be given full diplomatic status of a sovereign
nation, like its envoys are given in 143 nations where it has delegations. The
UK, on the other hand, insists the EU ambassador should be given curtailed privileges
similar to the ones awarded to international organisations like the International
Monetary Fund.

The row began hours before Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby
as the new head of the United Kingdom Mission to the European Union.

“As we
begin a new chapter in our relationship with the EU, I am delighted to appoint
Lindsay as head of UKMis,” he said.

previous knowledge and expertise will be vital as our friendly cooperation with
the EU continues,” he said of Croisdale-Appleby, who has been handling
Brexit-related affairs in the Foreign Office recently.

Also Read | 250,000 small UK businesses to face bankruptcy, courtesy Brexit, COVID-19: Study

Ever since
Britain left the EU last year, Croisdale-Appleby’s predecessor as the envoy to
Brussels had been provided full diplomatic privileges.

The EU had
been “conferred substantial competences by its member states”, Peter Stano, a
spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell, said.

As a
signatory to the Lisbon Treaty, Britain was “well aware of the EU’s status
in external relations,” Stano told AFP.

has changed since the UK’s exit from the European Union to justify any change
in stance on the UK’s part,” he argued.

In London,
a foreign ministry spokesman insisted that the “EU, its delegation and
staff will receive the privileges and immunities necessary to enable them to
carry out their work in the UK effectively”.

the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that Britain should be
“very careful” with regard to the issue.

Speaking at
a virtual event hosted in Ireland on Thursday, Barnier dismissed Britain’s
characterisation of the EU as an international institution, insisting that the
bloc was a union.

UK took part in this union for more or less 47 or 48 years,” he said.

hope that we will be able together to find a clever and objective solution to
the status of the EU in London,” Barnier said.