Britain Ends Immunity “Loophole” After Fatal Crash

The New York Times reports:

Britain and the United States have agreed to end a legal loophole that allowed an American woman to flee Britain after she was involved in a car accident that killed a teenager, the British authorities said, almost a year after the crash started a diplomatic tug of war between the two countries and sparked widespread outrage in Britain.

Under the United Nations’ Vienna convention on diplomatic relations, members of diplomatic staff and their families positioned in a foreign country are entitled to immunity. An arrangement between the U.S. and Britain recognized the Americans working at Croughton as embassy staff, but waived this immunity.

However, that waiver did not cover the families of the employees. So, while American personnel at the base could not claim immunity in the event of a crime committed outside their duties, their family members could.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab [photo] said today that all US embassy employees and their families no longer have immunity. US diplomats and their families will continue to have immunity. The agreement comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson raised the issue to Mike Pompeo.