Senior Portuguese diplomat named EU’s ambassador to UK

João Vale de Almeida | European Union

Senior Portuguese diplomat named EU’s ambassador to UK

The EU delegation to London, modeled on its one in Washington, will open next month.

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1/10/20, 8:02 PM CET

Updated 1/10/20, 8:28 PM CET

João Vale de Almeida will be the European Union’s ambassador to the U.K. after Brexit, according to two EU officials and one EU diplomat.

The senior diplomat from Portugal previously served as the EU’s envoy to the United Nations and to the U.S., and has a decades-long career in the EU, including being a Commission director general and former President José Manuel Barroso’s chief of cabinet.

Vale de Almeida was the frontrunner for the job, as reported in POLITICO Brussels Playbook last year.

At the end of last year, Vale de Almeida was back in Brussels and speculating on Twitter about his next move.

He’ll be heading up a delegation that will start work on February 1.

On Brexit Day, January 31, the Commission’s office in London will close down and the day after, the new EU delegation, modeled on its diplomatic mission to Washington, will spring up in its place.

The delegation will effectively be an embassy run by the European External Action Service, the EU’s foreign policy arm.

It will stay in the Commission’s current base at 32 Smith Square in Westminster. The building — Europe House — served as the Conservative Party’s headquarters for half a century.

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