Today, the United Kingdom leaves the European Union and becomes a third country. While we regret the decision of the United Kingdom to leave our Union, we fully respect this choice and are ready to move forward.
The diplomatic representation of the European Union from now on will be ensured by an EU Delegation, under my authority as High Representative of the Union for Foreign affairs and Security Policy.
I have appointed Ambassador João Vale de Almeida as Head of Delegation and I trust that he will be working tirelessly to ensure smooth cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The premises of the former Commission Representation in London will become those of the European Union Delegation. Operations start today.
In addition to the traditional responsibilities of an EU Delegation in a third country, such as EU diplomatic representation, EU coordination and reporting and promotion of the EU in the host country, the EU Delegation to the United Kingdom will have a key role in ensuring the implementation of the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement. Together with the embassies of EU Member States, it will also raise awareness on the rights of EU citizen’s in the United Kingdom after Brexit.
The United Kingdom will remain a key partner for the European Union. Our relationship is rooted in our shared values and interests that arise from geography, history and values anchored in our common European heritage.
The economic, social and political relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom will not end. We are and will remain closely linked. Our wish is to build a new ambitious partnership across trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and criminal justice, foreign policy, security and defence.
I look forward to what I hope will be very close cooperation with our British friends on our common challenges at the regional and global level.