London and Brussels ended their bitter dispute over the status of the European Union representative in the United Kingdom on Wednesday. The High Representative for Foreign PolicyJosep Borrell and British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab agreed during the G7 summit in London that the community ambassador would receive a rank equivalent to the rank of head of state mission. London’s initial refusal of this recognition triggered the European Union at a sensitive moment in relations between the two blocs. Due to the dispute arising from the non-compliance of the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca and the tensions in Northern Ireland.
New diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union after Brexit got off to a bad start after that London will deprive João Vale de Almeida of the rank of ambassador, considering that he does not represent a state, but an international organization. In the midst of the AstraZeneca vaccine crisis, the decision angered the European Union. European Council President Charles Michel decided to cancel all scheduled meetings with the new British representative in Brussels, Lindsay Crossdale-Appleby, who had just landed in Brussels to replace Tim Barrow. Borrell then wrote to Rap complaining that “the conditions are available.” [para los representantes comunitarios] It does not reflect the specific character of the European Union, nor is it appropriate for future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom as a major third country. “
From the start, Brussels viewed the UK’s decision as a provocation. The European Union is represented in 143 countries, and they are all treated as state diplomats. Only Donald Trump, who showed a defiant attitude towards the European Union, decided early in his term to demote him. A year later, he ended up with a correction. The Boris Johnson government didn’t take that long, just five months. On Wednesday, Borrell and Raab decided the matter on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in London.
‘Good intentions and pragmatism’
In a joint statement, the two foreign representatives of the two blocs congratulated each other, on Wednesday, for reaching an agreement based on “good faith and pragmatism.” According to the agreement reached, the body of the European Union delegation “shall enjoy the necessary privileges and immunities to operate effectively”. “We want to move forward to meet global challenges together,” they said in a brief statement. The endpoint of this conflict allows for a reduction of tension with the United Kingdom, which was alleviated by the ratification of the trade agreement by the European Parliament.
According to a spokeswoman for the British delegation, Borrell and Rap also discussed cooperation in foreign and security affairs, and the possibility of working together on climate change, especially at the gates of the United Nations conference. To be held in Glasgow next November. They also touched on the situation in Cyprus, where they agreed on the need to strengthen a meeting between the two parties and to support the efforts of the United Nations.
Valle de Almeida, who is now slated to present his diplomatic credentials to Queen Elizabeth II, was appointed by Borrell as the EU’s ambassador to the United Kingdom in late December, before Brexit happened. The diplomat was the ambassador of the European Union to the United Nations between 2010 and 2014, and later, between 2015 and 2019. He also represented the European Union bloc in Washington. Before that, he was Chief of Staff of former European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.