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Former French EU Commissioner to become chief Brexit negotiator

Former French EU commissioner Michel Barnier has been appointed as the EU's main negotiator for the UK's exit of the bloc. He will take up his new position in October.

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Former French EU Commissioner to become chief Brexit negotiator

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65 year old Michel Barnier has been appointed as chief EU negotiator for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The French-man is familiar with Brussels and the EU institutions as he spent a number of years as EU commissioner for financial services and the internal market. During the height of the eurozone debt crisis, he became well known in the City of London for pushing through unpopular measures in sectors like the financial services, accountancy and banking.

In a statement, Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said he wanted an experienced politician for what he called a difficult position. Along with France, the European Commission would like to see Brexit talks commence as soon as possible to end any uncertainty over the future of the EU, but UK prime Minister Teresa May has insisted that London will not be rushed into these kind of talks. Downing Street has nominated British diplomat Sir Julian King to replace former EU Commissioner Lord Jonathon Hill in Brussels.