With Irishman Phil Hogan being nominated as next trade commissioner, the stage has been set for yet another potential Brexit drama.
Known for his tough negotiating tactics and not mincing his words, Hogan has repeatedly warned of the negative consequences of a no-deal Brexit and lashed out against the British governments handling of the negotiations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson in particular.
In his previous position as agriculture commissioner in Jean-Claude Junckers Cabinet, Hogan even had Junckers blessing to travel across the U.K. before the EU referendum to campaign against Brexit.
The stakes are higher now that Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has proposed the 1.95-meter tall Irishman as the blocs next trade chief — a position that will see him front and center of negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.K. (Announcing her nomination today, von der Leyen dubbed him a “hard and fair negotiator,” a reputation he has earned in trade talks with Japan and the Mercosur countries.)
During a speech at the end of August, Hogan gave a taste of whats to come. Slamming Johnson as an “unelected prime minister,” he also said Brussels will “not buckle” under any pressure the U.K. government is trying to assert on its red lines.
“It is a definite advantage to have an Irish person in charge of this crucial brief over the next five years.” — Leo Varadkar
Leaving the EU without a deal will create a “foul atmosphere” and have “serious consequences” on the prospects of a trade deal between London and Brussels, Hogan said bluntly.
European commissioners are meant to stay out of national affairs and focus on representing the EUs interests as a whole. But Hogan has repeatedly flouted or ignored this rule.
Irelands particularly delicate position when it comes to Brexit will be served well by his continued interest and interference in national affairs. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, while congratulating Hogan on his neRead More – Source