Brexit news: UK must ‘be very careful’, Barnier warns in row over EU’s diplomatic status

Liam James,Vincent Wood and Samuel Osborne
·1-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Michel Barnier has waded into a row over the status of European Union diplomats in the UK after Brexit, warning the government in Westminster to “be very careful” after it emerged the bloc’s representative in London had not been given the same status as other ambassadors.

The Foreign Office is refusing to grant EU ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida the same diplomatic status afforded to representatives of individual nation states but Mr Barnier insisted the bloc cannot be treated solely as an international organisation, urging both sides to instead reach a “clever and objective solution”.

Earlier, the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, admitted Brexit led to food shortages in Northern Ireland after weeks of disruption.

Her Cabinet colleague Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, had argued that the coronavirus crisis, not the end of the transition period, was solely to blame for the shortages before Ms Truss contradicted him, blaming “both of those issues”.

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