James Crisp. Freelance journalist in Brussels.

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Barnier, battler of British bankers, is Commission’s new Brexit boss

Michel Barnier, the former financial services Commissioner with a testy relationship with the City of London, will lead the Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom, the European Commission announced today (27 July).

Frenchman Barnier, was responsible for the wave of financial services regulation that was proposed by the Barroso Commission after the crisis.

His desire to regulate every financial sector and his push to cap bankers’ bonuses led to accusations that he was plotting to weaken London’s status as the EU’s pre-eminent financial hub.

Barnier, a right-wing Les Républicains politician and former foreign affairs minister,  always denied that charge. But the appointment of a federalist with a fractious relationship with the UK will cause concern in Britain.

After the shock decision to quit the EU on 23 June, Paris and Frankfurt have moved to poach London’s crown as the bloc’s leading financial centre.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, “Michel will have access to all Commission resources necessary to perform his tasks. He will report directly to me, and I will invite him to brief regularly the College to keep my team abreast of the negotiations”.

>>Read whole story on EurActiv.

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2016 by in Brexit, Financial services, Journalism, UK and tagged , , .

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