LONDON — U.K. officials will only attend EU meetings with a “significant national interest,” Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay announced Tuesday.
Attendance will be reduced by more than half, freeing up officials to work on Brexit preparations and post-Brexit trade opportunities, he said.
Officials will start to withdraw from meetings from September 1, unless the U.K. has an interest in the outcome of discussions, such as security, sovereignty, Brexit, international relations and finance.
“An incredible amount of time and effort goes into EU meetings with attendance just the tip of the iceberg,” Barclay said in a statement issued by the Department for Exiting the EU on Tuesday. “From now on we will only go to the meetings that really matter, reducing attendance by over half and saving hundreds of hours. This will free up time for Ministers and their officials to get on with preparing for our departure on October 31 and seizing the opportunities that lie ahead.”
The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to “unshackle” officials from EU meetings in the House of Commons in July. He will attend the October European Council meeting.
The Brexit department said the U.K.’s vote would be delegated in a way that “does not obstruct the ongoing business of the remaining 27 EU members, and a decision about which meetings to attend would be made on a “case by case” basis.
The post UK officials to withdraw from EU meetings from September 1 appeared first on Politico.