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Independent: European Commission appoints chief Brexit negotiator but says he won't speak to UK until Article 50 triggered
19:41, 27 July 2016
Independent: European Commission appoints chief Brexit negotiator but says he won't speak to UK until Article 50 triggered

Known as a tough negotiator and against a 'pick and mix' approach to the single market, he will not start in his role until 1 October

19:41, 27 July 2016

The Independent

The European Commission has appointed a chief Brexit negotiator but has made clear he will not engage with Britain until Article 50 is formally triggered - nor start work until 1 October.

Michel Barnier, a former French government minister and ex-European Commission vice-president, will start work after the holiday season and then spend the next few months preparing the ground in Brussels for the negotiations. His appointment was announced by commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who said he wanted "an experienced politician for this difficult job".

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Describing Mr Barnier as "a skilled negotiator with rich experience in major policy areas relevant to the negotiations", Mr Juncker said: "I am very glad that my friend Michel Barnier accepted this important and challenging task. I wanted an experienced politician for this difficult job.

Related: EUobserver: Estonia is likely to take over UK's EU presidency

"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.

Read the full article here.

Related: EU Council is changing schedule of EU presidency

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