After Brexit, Great Britain wants to put the EU ambassador and his staff in a worse protocol-wise position than diplomats from member states. Brussels reacts dabbed, especially since such diplomatic demotions call the EU’s self-image into question.
On the diplomatic floor, questions of protocol play an important role. In the seating arrangement for a meal with diplomats or politicians or for official speeches, a clearly regulated hierarchy applies, which arranges the guests according to their nominal importance. Against this background, a long-smoldering diplomatic dispute between London and Brussels, which has now broken out openly after the end of the Brexit transition period, is all the more explosive. Great Britain refuses to grant the EU ambassador in London and his staff full diplomatic status under the Vienna Convention of 1961, which is seen in Brussels as an affront and a sign of contempt. EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell has written to British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on the matter to express his “serious concern”.