Brexit is really paying out Antony Phillipson: Government buys £12m luxury New York apartment for diplomat 'The UK government has spent $15.9m (£12m) on a luxury New York apartment for a British diplomat to live in while he negotiates trade deals with the US. It will house the UK trade commissioner for North America and consul general in New York, Antony Phillipson. Boasting panoramic views, the seven-bedroom flat occupies the entire 38th-floor of 50 United Nations Plaza, said the Guardian, which first reported it. The Foreign Office said it had "secured the best possible deal". The apartment "will help promote the UK in the commercial capital of our largest export market for years to come", it said. A floor plan of the 5,893 sq ft apartment shows a library, six bathrooms and a powder room. Two of the five bedrooms in the apartment are currently designated "staff bedrooms" on the floor plan, but the UK Foreign Office said only the consul general and his immediate family will live there. [...] "At least someone is going to do OK out of Brexit," Labour MP Gareth Thomas tweeted, in response to the purchase. Stewart Maxwell, a special adviser to Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon on business and the economy, tweeted: "UK Tory government make clear that austerity isn't for everybody".' BBC.co.uk, 27th March 2019.