September 10, 2019 / 11:19 AM / 11 days ago

Irishman named to run EU trade in build-up to Brexit

FILE PHOTO: Phil Hogan attends a news conference with Spain's Agriculture Minister Luis Planas in Madrid, Spain, June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Susana Vera

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Irishman Phil Hogan was appointed on Tuesday to lead the European Union’s international trade affairs from November, a clear message to London as the sides prepare to negotiate a new deal after Brexit.

In announcing the appointment, the next head of the EU’s executive, Ursula von der Leyen, said Hogan was “an excellent and fair negotiator” and has done a “brilliant” job heading agriculture affairs in the outgoing Commission.

“It is very important to have together a very good free trade agreement,” von der Leyen told a news conference to unveil her team for the next Commission, which must still be approved by the European Parliament.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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