On the 23 August 2019, the UK announced that it will not nominate a new Commissioner to the EU as it prepares to leave on 31 October 2019.
The UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU Sir Tim Barrow has written to the EU to confirm that the UK will not be nominating a candidate for the 2019-2024 College of Commissioners. This delivers on the commitment that Prime Minister Boris Johnson made to the House of Commons on 25 July.
The Government has been clear that we are leaving the EU on 31 October whatever the circumstances. Given that the new Commission will not be taking up office until after we have left (1 November) we will not need a new Commissioner.
The Prime Minister was clear in his statement to the House of Commons that our decision not to appoint a new Commissioner should not prevent the EU from appointing a new Commission. This letter will enable the EU to proceed without a UK nominee.
Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU Steve Barclay said:
We are leaving the EU on 31 October. As a departing member state we will not be involved in the new Commission so it would be a distraction to nominate a new Commissioner.
This is part of the UK’s ongoing preparations for Brexit which allows us to focus on our future relationship with the EU while continuing to explore new opportunities with partners across the world.
- All Member States have been invited to submit nominations for Commissioners by 26 August 2019.
- The Prime Minister announced in the House of Commons on 25 July that the UK will not nominate a UK commissioner for the new Commission and this is not intended to stop the EU appointing a new Commission.
- Sir Tim Barrow has written to the Secretary-General of the European Council and the Head of the Transition Team of European Commission President-elect to confirm this.
- The letter also confirms that the UK is content for the European Council to proceed with the adoption of the list of candidates without a UK candidate.
A copy of the letter from the UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Tim Barrow, is enclosed:
Head of Transition Team
European Commission President-elect Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen Secretary-General
Council of the European Union
Dear Mr Seibert, Dear Secretary-General,
I refer to the request for Member States to submit letters of nomination for the College of Commissioners 2019-2024 by 26 August.
As the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union on 31 October 2019, the Prime Minister announced in the House of Commons on 25 July that we would not nominate a UK Commissioner for the new Commission, and that this was not intended to stop the EU appointing a new Commission.
I am writing formally to confirm that, in accordance with the Prime Minister’s statement, the United Kingdom will not be nominating a candidate for the 2019-2024 College of Commissioners.
Furthermore, I am instructed to confirm that the United Kingdom will not object to the Council, in accordance with Article 17(7) of the Treaty on European Union and in agreement with the President-elect, adopting the list of the candidates for appointment as members of the Commission and communicating that list to the European Parliament. The United Kingdom remains ready to work constructively with you to ensure that the new College of Commissioners will be appointed in time to take up its mandate on 1 November.
I am copying this letter to Ilze Juhansone, Acting Secretary-General of the European Commission, and Marja Rislakki, Permanent Representative of Finland to the EU, for information.