UK appoints new ambassador to Spain

Ellis to replace Elliott as ambassador to Spain

Alex Ellis will become ambassador to Spain in September 2024. Credit:

The UK government has today announced a significant change in its diplomatic representation in Spain.

On Thursday, March 14, the UK announced: ‘Mr Alex Ellis CMG has been appointed His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and non-resident Ambassador to the Principality of Andorra in succession to Mr Hugh Elliott who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Ellis will take up his appointment during summer 2024.’

The outgoing ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, took to social media to share his thoughts: ‘After five wonderful years, this summer my term as Ambassador to Spain ends.

‘Although there are still many months (and work!) left, I am delighted to congratulate my great friend and colleague @Alexwellis, who will take over as of September.’

Speaking of his replacement, Elliott added: ‘A very experienced diplomat and great lover of Spain, he will be a magnificent successor.’

Gibraltar negotiations

What does the change in ambassadors mean for the future of Gibraltar? The diplomatic transition comes after three years and 16 rounds of negotiations between London, Brussels, and Madrid.

As for the time being, talks have yet to yield an agreement on Gibraltar’s status following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

A new chapter in diplomacy

Elliot, who has been a pivotal figure in these negotiations, is departing after a five-year tenure. His efforts were central to the New Year’s Eve Agreement on December 31, 2020, aiming to foster shared prosperity between Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar in Cadiz.

The Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, described the agreement as a step towards dismantling the physical separation fence.

However, several crucial issues, such as border control and taxation, remain unresolved. In October 2022, Elliot mentioned the progress but acknowledged the existence of ‘thorny issues.’

Ellis’s track record

Ellis, coming from his position as British High Commissioner in New Delhi and former National Security Advisor, has a rich background in international negotiations.

His previous roles include Director of the Department of Exiting the European Union, ambassador in Brasilia, Lisbon, and Madrid.

This experience is expected to be invaluable as he navigates the complex issues at stake, including the joint management of Gibraltar’s airport and the post-transition positioning of Spanish officials.

The arrival of Ellis marks a crucial phase in the negotiations, with his expertise anticipated to help resolve the longstanding issues, including military and civil movement through Gibraltar.

His appointment signifies the UK’s ongoing commitment to finding a mutually beneficial agreement for all parties involved.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • M

      18 March 2024 • 12:35

      Lets hope he improves the image and proves himself on issues demanding immediate attention for Brits in Spain

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