UK flag to be removed from EU institutions amid farewell preparations

Written by Martin Banks on 28 January 2020 in News
News

One of the UK flags being removed from outside the three EU institutions in Brussels this week will be put on display in the city’s House of European History, it has emerged.

Photo credit: Press Association


UK flags will be taken down from outside the European Parliament, Commission and Council on 31 January, the day the UK leaves the EU.

Speaking at a news briefing on Monday, a Parliament spokesperson said, “The flags will be removed from the three places of work and not displayed as from 1 February. There will be no ceremony to accompany the lowering of the flags, but it will be done with all the dignity associated with lowering a flag.”

She said one of the three flags will be put in the House of European History with the other two flags going to the “protocol services.”


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The museum, situated just less than 200 metres from Parliament, focuses on the history of Europe since 1789. It is an initiative by the European Parliament and was opened on 6 May 2017.

The museum has been criticised in the past for “misrepresenting” European history.

The Platform of European Memory and Conscience, based in Berlin, said that it “fails at presenting European history in three dimensions: structure, concept and facts. As a result, visitors get an ideologically-biased, chaotic narrative line with many shortcomings or even falsifications.”

It added, “The main idea is missing and it seems to be overshadowed by the narrow-minded Marxism-rooted concept.”

“There will be no ceremony to accompany the lowering of the flags, but it will be done with all the dignity associated with lowering a flag” Parliament spokesperson

The Parliament spokesperson said, “Hopefully, in the future we will still get visits from high-ranking officials from the UK so we will need the flags for this.”

The parliament has also outlined the other farewell arrangements this week for the 73 UK MEPs.

She said the UK members will have until 7 February to vacate their offices in Brussels.

“They have emptied their offices already in Strasbourg but they still have time to do the same here in Brussels.”

She also confirmed that all UK members, including those from the Brexit party, had been invited to a reception in Parliament on Wednesday evening hosted by President David Sassoli.

“As all members who leave Parliament they will also have to hand in their parliamentary badges and voting cards. They will also have to empty offices and ship their belongings to the UK.”

“The UK members were given an info session on all this last week but it is the same process as for all departing members.”

“As all members who leave Parliament they will also have to hand in their parliamentary badges and voting cards. They will also have to empty offices and ship their belongings to the UK” Parliament spokesperson

The sombre events being planned by the EU to mark Brexit contrasts sharply with those lined up by Brexit Party MEPs who, led by Anne Widdecombe will be “walking in formation with a Union Jack” from the European Parliament to Place Luxembourg, where they will leave to get the Eurostar to London.

A Brexit Party source said, “There will be a party on to celebrate Brexit.”

Meanwhile, Parliament has also outlined the redistribution of UK seats after the British exit.

A spokesman said, “The reallocation of seats was approved in June 2018 by the Parliament: 27 of the current 73 seats of the UK will be redistributed to other countries and 46 seats will be kept in reserve in case of EU enlargement.”

“Reallocation ensures that no Member State will lose seats. Some Member States will gain between one and five seats in order to remedy under-representation due to demographic developments,” he added.

The seats will be redistributed as follows: Denmark: from 13 to 14 = +1; Estonia: from 6 to 7 = +1; Ireland: from 11 to 13 = +2; Spain: from 54 to 59 = +5; France: from 74 to 79 = +5; Croatia: from 11 to 12 = +1; Italy: from 73 to 76 = +3; Netherlands: from 26 to 29 = +3; Austria: from 18 to 19 = +1; Poland: from 51 to 52 = +1; Romania: from 32 to 33 = +1; Slovakia: from 13 to 14 = +1; Finland: from 13 to 14 = +1; Sweden: from 20 to 21 = +1.

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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