EU names French ex-commissioner to lead Brexit talks

French politician and former EU commissioner Michel Barnier was appointed to lead negotiations with Britian on the exit from the bloc.
French politician and former EU commissioner Michel Barnier was appointed to lead negotiations with Britian on the exit from the bloc.PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS (REUTERS, AFP) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has appointed Michel Barnier, a former commissioner and an ex-minister, to lead negotiations to form a new relationship with Britain after it leaves the European Union.

Barnier, a centre-right politician who has been France’s foreign minister and minister for agriculture, will take up his post on October 1.

Barnier was a commissioner from 2010 to 2014, in charge of internal markets and services, and was involved in reforms of the financial services sector and for establishment of the banking union.

Juncker said in a statement that Barnier was a skilled negotiator with rich experience in major policy areas and an extensive network of contacts in the capitals of EU member states.

"I am sure that he will live up to this new challenge and help us to develop a new partnership with the United Kingdom after it will have left the European Union."