Blog: EU still in ‘process of accepting’ Brexit like stages of grief, says top diplomat – Mirror Online

Brussels is still in the “process of accepting” that Brexit happened, the EU ambassador to the UK has said.

Joao Vale de Almeida compared the journey to the “different degrees of grief” but he said the EU was at last starting to come to terms with the results of the 2016 referendum.

The top diplomat told a briefing for journalists: “As you know in the different degrees of grief, the last one is acceptance.

“At certain points in time after traumatic situations one needs to finally accept the new situation.

“I think that is part of the process in which we are. We are still in the process of accepting that the UK is no longer a member of the European Union.

EU Ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida
(Image: PA)

”This has an impact on both sides of the Channel. We need to accept the new reality, we need to accept that decisions have consequences, consequences require adjustment and adaptation.”

Mr Vale de Almeida admitted there were a “few irritants, a few misunderstandings still on the table” such as disruption to trade in Northern Ireland and the row over supplies of vaccines.

But the ambassador said he hoped there would be a change in mindset and attitude from both sides in the next 100 days.

The Northern Ireland Protocol, a key part of Boris Johnson ’s Brexit deal, has caused disruption for businesses as it effectively creates a trade border in the Irish Sea.

It has also been partly blamed for fuelling a recent surge in violence amid anger in loyalist communities over the perception that Northern Ireland is being treated differently to the rest of the UK.

Meanwhile, the European Commission said that it was taking legal action against Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca amid an ongoing row over supplies of the Oxford Covid vaccine.

“The Commission has started last Friday a legal action against AstraZeneca,” the EU spokesman told reporters.

“Some terms of the contract have not been respected and the company has not been in a position to come up with a reliable strategy to ensure timely delivery of doses,” the spokesman said.

AstraZeneca said EU claims that it had failed to respect its contract were “without merit” and it pledged to strongly defend itself strongly in court.

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