Whether or not the UK will reach a deal with the EU by the Brexit deadline is still unclear. But either way, it’s been confirmed by an EU official the Brussels will be opening a new embassy in London in time for March 29th.
According to an EU spokesperson: “As of the withdrawal date from the European Union, the United Kingdom will become a third country and consequently, the [EU] should be represented from 30 March, 2019 onward by an EU delegation to the United Kingdom.”
And there’s already been some speculation on who will land the job of ambassador. After all, after its departure, the UK will automatically become the third biggest trading partner with the EU, following the US and China.
It also has very strong cultural and security ties with the bloc, making it essential to maintain a strong relationship, regardless of whether a deal can be secured. This means that the embassy will need to hold a much more prominent role in the future than the current representation in London.
So who is in the running to become the new ambassador? According to a number of EU officials, the race for the new position is already on. There have been a number of people suggested.
These names include Martin Selmayr, the Commission’s secretary-general; and Helga Schmid, one of the top officials at the European External Action Service. However, it’s important to note that the Commission has denied that these individuals are actually running for the position.
An unnamed EU diplomat said in a recent interview that the job would be “even more visible than EU ambassador to Washington”. When commenting on the potential candidates, they said: “[Selmayr] wants that job … and very likely he will have to go. He would be in a very visible and powerful position, as the official in charge of implementing Brexit”.
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