The rather gruesome eurosceptic blog EU Referendum likes to think they have information to back up their conspiracy theories about the EU. Yet a post today about FCO diplomatic cuts shows how little they actually know:
Interestingly, no mention is made of the embassy in Brussels (pictured) â€“ which deals mainly with EU institutions – so the indications are that it is just representation in the major member state countries that is being affected.
No, that’s not what the British Embassy in Brussels does. It’s job is for relations with the Belgian government, just as an embassy in Helsinki is for relations with the Finnish government. I don’t know exactly how small the embassy in Brussels is, but I would guess it numbers something less than 30 staff on UK FCO terms of employment.
Of far more concern is that EU Referendum seems to be unaware that it is the much larger and more important UK mission in Brussels (more than 100 people) – the UK Permanent Representation to the EU institutions (UKRep) – that does the main work on UK-EU relations. Details of most of its staff can be found at the UKRep website. While Britain remains a member state of the EU it is vital that this office is well staffed – how else could you get eurosceptic positions across in Brussels without a decently manned office of people to do it for you? Even Margaret Thatcher and John Major saw the value of UKRep, although the present government maybe does not as it has abolished mothballed the European Fast Stream.
Anyway, check the facts before you start to believe the conspiracy…