U.K. European Union in spat over diplomatic status of bloc's ambassador

22 Janvier, 2021, 02:02 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Music stars slam UK’s ‘shameful’ failure on EU touring rules

"The EU's status in external relations and its subsequent diplomatic status is amply recognised by countries and global organisations around the world, and we expect the United Kingdom to treat the EU Delegation accordingly and without delay", European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said Thursday.

Joe Marshall from the Institute of Government said: "Various deadlines, delayed Brexit changes and ongoing dialogues mean the UK-EU relationship will continue to evolve over the months and years ahead".

The report also said the Foreign Office was hesitant to give European Union diplomats immunity and privileges because it did not want to set an example in the eyes of other global organizations.

Scottish National Party lawmaker Pete Wishart, a former member of rock band Runrig, said Tuesday in the House of Commons that musicians and artists were "mere collateral in this government's obsession in ending freedom of movement" and controlling immigration once it left the EU.

The EU argues it is not a typical worldwide organisation.

"Strange position for Brexiteers to take", he added.

Following the report, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman: "The EU, its delegation and staff will receive the privileges and immunities necessary to enable them to carry out their work in the United Kingdom effectively".

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The Vienna Convention grants diplomats immunity from detention, criminal jurisdiction and taxation.

But Whitehall sources insisted that global organisations were offered "very similar privileges and immunities" to diplomatic missions sent by foreign governments.

British musicians who wish to tour the European Union will be required to obtain visas for each country they wish to perform in after the Conservative government declined to negotiate a special waiver, according to a report from The Guardian.

Some of the UK's biggest music stars have written to the government demanding action to ensure visa-free touring in the European Union.

The Foreign Office is insisting he and his officials should not have the privileges and immunity afforded to diplomats under the Vienna Convention.

The BBC quoted a letter sent to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab by Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, in which he said London's proposals on the issue did not constitute a reasonable basis for agreement.

"Nothing has changed since the UK's exit from the European Union to justify any change in stance on the UK's part", he said, adding that the EU is "not a typical worldwide organization".


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