Saturday

22nd Feb 2020

UK's EU commissioner resigns

  • Jonathan Hill's resignation takes effect 15 July (Photo: European Commission)

The UK's EU commissioner, Lord Jonathan Hill, announced his resignation on Saturday (25 June) in the wake of Britons voting on Thursday to leave the EU.

Hill's portfolio for financial markets and capital markets union will be taken over by EU commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis, the commissioner for the euro.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Hill will be replaced by the commission's vice-president for the euro Valdis Dombrovskis (Photo: European Commission)

Lord Hill's resignation will take effect at midnight on 15 July.

"I don't believe it is right that I should carry on as the British commissioner as though nothing had happened," Hill said in a statement published on his EU website.

"In line with what I discussed with the president of the commission some weeks ago, I have therefore told him that I shall stand down," he said, adding that he is "obviously very disappointed about the result of the referendum".

Juncker reacted in a statement saying he regretted Hill's decision.

"I have tried to convince Lord Hill to stay on as commissioner. I consider him to be a true European and not just the British commissioner. However, I understand his decision and I respect it," Juncker said.

The commission chief has asked Latvian commissioner, and vice-president of the executive, Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the euro, to take over Hill's portfolio.

New British commisisoner?

Despite the vote to leave, the UK is and will remain a member of the EU until the end of the exit negotiations, which could take years. That means the British government still has the right to nominate another commissioner to the EU's executive.

Juncker's statement said he stands ready to discuss "swiftly" with the British prime minister the potential names for a UK commissioner and their possible portfolio.

The new UK commissioner would have to be appointed by the EU Council, with the agreement of the Commission president, after consulting the European Parliament.

Hill's departure would also trigger a reshuffling of the portfolios among the 28 commissioners.

Lord Hill said in his statement that he hoped Britain would want to "play a role in arguing for an outward-looking, flexible, competitive, free trade Europe". He added: "But the British people took a different decision, and that is the way that democracy works."

"I came to Brussels as someone who had campaigned against Britain joining the euro and who was sceptical about Europe. I will leave it certain that, despite its frustrations, our membership was good for our place in the world and good for our economy," Hill said.

EU urges UK to submit Brexit papers

Cameron does not want to apply for Brexit, but let his successor do it. That could take until October. “Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty," EU leaders have said.

Analysis

After Brexit, EU leaders start soul-searching

The general public and financial markets are waiting for the EU's response to the British shock. But when leaders meet at next week's summit, there will be more questions than answers.

UK gets top security role in EU commission

Julian King is set to become EU commissioner in charge of launching the "security union" - the fight against terrorism, radicalisation, organised crime, and cybercrime.

Exclusive

EU commissioner lobbied by energy firm he owns shares in

EU budget commissioner Johannes Hahn owns 2,200 shares in Austria's largest electricity provider. Those shares have tripled in value since he first declared them in 2014. In January, the firm met his head of cabinet to discuss climate policy.

News in Brief

  1. Bulgarian PM investigated over 'money laundering'
  2. Greenpeace breaks into French nuclear plant
  3. Germany increases police presence after shootings
  4. NGO: US and EU 'watering-down' tax reform prior to G20
  5. Iran: parliamentary elections, conservatives likely to win
  6. Belgian CEOs raise alarm on political crisis
  7. Germans voice anger on rise of far-right terrorism
  8. EU leaders' budget summit drags on overnight

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. No breakthrough at EU budget summit
  2. EU leaders struggling to break budget deadlock
  3. German ex-commissioner Oettinger lands Orban job
  4. How big is Germany's far-right problem?
  5. Plastic and carbon proposals to help plug Brexit budget gap
  6. Sassoli repeats EU budget rejection warning
  7. Why Miroslav Lajčák is the wrong choice for EU envoy
  8. Unhappy EU leaders begin budget haggle

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us