FCO Staff: Brussels

Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons on 30th June 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

How many staff are employed by his Department in Brussels; and how many staff he plans to employ in Brussels after 31 December 2020.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK mission to the EU, the UK delegation to NATO and the British embassy in Brussels collectively employ about 250 staff. UKMis was reinforced to support our exit negotiations, while still defending our continuing interests in EU decision making. UKMis will continue to be our principal interface with the EU after 31 December. The Government have launched an integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, and the future level of resourcing for all three missions will be determined following this review.

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

It is very disappointing that my hon. Friend has not got a target for the reduction in the number of bureaucrats in Brussels to take effect on 1 January next year. May I suggest that the target might be to reduce the current numbers of 250 down to 50? Can she explain why she does not think that is possible?

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

I thank my hon. Friend for his follow-up question. As I am sure he would understand, as an independent country we of course want to have representation in Brussels because, after the transition period, what will be so important is promoting UK interests and UK influence overseas.