EU Appoints Michel Barnier to Lead Negotiations on Brexit
The European Commission said on Wednesday it appointed Michel Barnier as chief negotiator in Brexit talks once Britain decides to start negotiations on leaving the bloc.
Barnier, 65, is a French politician, who served as foreign minister, European affairs minister and environment minister. Between 2010 and 2014 Barnier was European Commissioner and then Vice-President in charge of Internal Market and Services. Since February 2015 Barnier has been a special advisor on European defence and security policy to the President of the European Commission.
Barnier will take up his duties as chief negotiator on 1 October 2016. He will be charged with leading “the Commission Task force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union,” the Commission said in a statement.
It is unclear yet when London will invoke Article 50 of the TEU to formally start the negotiations to exit the EU.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described Michel Barnier as “a skilled negotiator with rich experience in major policy areas relevant to the negotiations.”
“He has an extensive network of contacts in the capitals of all EU Member States and in the European Parliament, which I consider a valuable asset for this function,” Juncker said in the statement.
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