When does the “virtuous circle” start with the United Kingdom?

This content was posted on February 17, 2021 – 08:17

Catalina Guerrero

Brussels, February 17th (EFE). – “Create a virtuous circle, not a vicious circle” between the European Union and the United Kingdom. It is the spirit that drives the ambassador of the European Union in London, João Vale de Almeida, who has been denied a diplomatic status by the British government since his appointment as head of the European delegation on February 1, 2020, the same day the country became. Third country.

“We have to build a mature relationship with the UK and increase levels of trust. We are all interested in creating a virtuous circle, not a vicious circle. Together we can do a lot of good,” Valle de Almeida tweeted a few days ago, after more than a year of settling in the British capital .

“There is nothing new that we can say publicly about this. As long as engagement continues with our partners in London, we will not comment publicly on the details of the daily work of our head of delegation. He, like the entire delegation, European Foreign Ministry spokesperson Peter Stano told Eevee” is fully operational and engaging with Best possible under the current circumstances. “

Relations between Brussels and London, which have been strained by years of painful Brexit talks, soured last month when the European Union threatened to use emergency measures to prevent coronavirus vaccines from entering Northern Ireland, but the first sign of unrest began more than a year ago.

Waiting for a solution

“This warning signal has already been around for a year, until it has reached the press now,” Acting Chair of the European Union Working Group for Relations with the United Kingdom, Clara Martinez Alberola, Michel Barnier’s right hand in negotiations A Trade and Participation agreement was reached last Christmas Eve .

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Martinez Almeida revealed the situation he faced when his president arrived in London when they were both part of the Council of Ministers of the then European Commission President, Jose, “Our ambassador, João Vale de Almeida, took office, and then there they really got into trouble.” Manuel Durao Barroso.

The British government has since said, “The matter is very complicated because (Val de Almeida) will be an ambassador for an international organization, they are not part of it, and this is not stipulated in their legislation and they have to change it,” continues Martinez Alberola, who was the Prime Minister who succeeded Durao Barroso on It was headed by the executive director of the community, Jean-Claude Juncker.

“And this is what we have been since then. What happened – explains – is that those exchanged letters, a letter signed by the High Representative (EU foreign policy, Josep) Borrell went to the press and then this problem erupted out” publicly.

A problem that Martinez-Alberola does not worry “much” about, as she is convinced it will “be solved.”

For her, it is a question of “sitting down” and negotiating “the privileges and immunities” of the status of the EU ambassador in London, which is incompatible with a third country or international organization.

“How can the European Union and the United Kingdom cooperate better in foreign policy after Brexit?” Borrell wrote in an article on his blog titled “Is mutual respect necessary for the constructive development of relations”?

For this reason, Brussels cannot accept the UK’s decision not to grant the EU ambassador to London the diplomatic status, a status that Vale de Almeida had in his previous missions in Washington and at the United Nations.

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This position contradicts the UK’s statements about the search for a relationship between “equals and sovereigns,” according to Borrell, who indicated that the UK itself supported, when it was a member of the European Union, that its delegations had full-fledged diplomacy, something that 143 other countries would grant There is an open European Union delegation.

This “unfriendly” signal, as Borrell put it, should stop “as soon as possible” so that the two sides can focus their “common energies” on cooperation in the Global Geopolitical Council.

‘Inconsistent’ posture

“Only when the Brexit episode happened, what we don’t need is diplomatic nonsense by the Boris Johnson government,” Tono Lopez-Estores, European Parliament member and Secretary-General of the European People’s Party (PPE) told EFE.

“It is an unnecessary and absurd insult when there is still a margin for the document in future relations between the EU and the UK,” adds Lopez-Estorez, who does not contribute to this kind of low-level measure against diplomatic protocols in establishing a relationship. Limited “.

“The UK will do well, instead of wasting time on these unnecessary issues that all they are doing is muddy relationships, dedicating themselves to making people’s lives and the economy easier, and solving the problems they have created as a result of Brexit,” the popular report concludes, MEP .

Nacho Sanchez Amour, a member of the European Socialist Parliament and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, expresses himself in similar terms, to those who “regret” that Johnson “” is running for the position that (former US President Donald) Trump left vacant in it. Also a country with a very long diplomatic tradition for the United Kingdom. “

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“It is simply an incomprehensible position. What might be an administrative hole in the beginning becomes a political problem when it is not resolved immediately,” he told Efe.

This gesture, according to Lopez Amour, “undoubtedly serves so that we do not trust ourselves,” although he wants to “trust” that “the British side will return to its senses and we will be able to turn the page. So.”

Valle de Almeida confirms that the time has come for a “new beginning with old friends”. EFE

A cat / ah

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