Joao Vale de Almeida, the EU's first ambassador in London after Brexit, has been refused the same diplomatic privileges as ambassadors sent by national governments because the UK has deemed the bloc to be an international organisation like NATO or the UN rather than an individual state.
For a pro-Brexit former MEP like me, the situation is replete with irony
Furious EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has now written to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab directly demanding an explanstion and Michel Barnier, who led the EU's negotiating team during Brexit talks, has warned the UK should be "very careful" in its approach.
But Brexiteer politician Patrick O'Flynn said the spat had simply revealed how the EU now "self-IDs" as a superstate.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Writing in the Telegraph, he said: "For a pro-Brexit former MEP like me, the situation is replete with irony."
EU ambassador to London Joao Vale de Almeida (Image: GETTY)
He continued: "I spent many years arguing just this case – that the EU was an embryonic superstate that was accruing essential sovereignty from countries that it had downgraded to 'member states'.
"To the EU’s aforementioned inventory of nation-state characteristics could be added its own flag, anthem and parliament.
"It does seem strange that, even post-Brexit, the Foreign Office should be seeking to maintain its long-running fiction that the EU is just another multinational grouping like the Commonwealth or NATO.
"If it ever was just that then surely it transitioned long ago via a series of treaties, including Maastricht and Lisbon, which gave it its own legal personality."
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Joao Vale de Almeida with Michel Barnier (Image: GETTY)
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been asked to explain the UK's decision (Image: GETTY)
Mr O'Flynn said the diplomatic row had raised difficult questions about the status of its 27 member states now