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UK will have to negotiate new EU trade deal with Irish Commissioner Phil Hogan



The man who holds the key to the UK’s future trade relations with the EU after Brexit


Ireland’s European Commissioner will be the person with whom the UK will have to negotiate future trade arrangements after Brexit.

Mr Hogan, a Fine Gael politician, takes up the Trade portfolio next month.

He has already expressed support for an extension of time to the UK, if necessary, to allow it leave the EU in a properly managed way with a deal.

He held the Agriculture portfolio throughout the last Commission under Commission president and former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker.

He was resoundingly confirmed as trade commissioner following a lengthy cross-examination by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) earlier this week.

He said he was “honoured” by the appointment and added:

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“The EU’s leadership role in global trade has never been more important or faced as many challenges as it does today.

“I therefore look forward to working very closely with MEPs and the European Council. I hope to justify the trust they have placed in me to deliver on our shared agenda.”

Mr Hogan said the EU’s trade policy must be used to “promote our values. . . especially in areas like climate action, sustainable development, labour rights, standards, and women’s empowerment”.

Asked by reporters about the UK and Brexit, and PM Boris Johnson’s plan to leave with or without a deal by 31 October he said:

“There’s been a lot of activity on Brexit in the last three years and they’re wondering when the next extension coming because inevitably that’s the way things are developing.

“When you’re not able to see an agreement coming through the House of Commons – there’s a wonder here to know if any deal would get through the House of Commons – so there’s a majority, then a UK election is what the European side thinks is going to happen.

“And again we didn’t get any meaningful proposals from the UK side for an extension in order to get a deal.”

“If you don’t get a deal, they’ve already passed legislation for them to have an extension, provided Mr Johnson agrees to the law of the land.

“We’re talking about ten days to do a deal and it doesn’t always happen that quickly around here.

“We’re waiting for proposals and there’s no sign of them for months that in any way deal with the fundamental issues we are talking about.”


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