March 29, 2017
In brief – key players for Brexit negotiations
Theresa May, UK Prime Minister
David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade
Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
UK Civil Service, including Department for Exiting the EU and Department for International Trade
The European Council (comprising heads of the 28 member states together with its President Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker) defines the EU’s overall direction and priorities.
The Council of the European Union (made up of ministers from member states) negotiates and adopts legislation and concludes international agreements. Didier Seeuws, a Belgian diplomat, has been appointed by the Council to lead its taskforce on Brexit.
The European Commission (the EU’s "civil service") supports the Council in undertaking negotiations. Michel Barnier, former Vice-President of the European Commission and former French Europe Minister, has been appointed by the Commission as its European Chief Negotiator for Brexit.
The European Parliament (comprising elected MEPs from each member state) scrutinises, amends and adopts legislation and international agreements. The European Parliament has elected Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian Prime Minister and MEP, to act as its representative during negotiations.
Subject to French (7 May 2017) and German (24 September 2017) elections this year, the French President and German Chancellor are expected to play key roles in the negotiations.
This client alert was prepared by London partners Stephen Gillespie, Charlie Geffen and Nicholas Aleksander and of counsel Anne MacPherson. We have a working group in London (led by Stephen Gillespie, Nicholas Aleksander, Patrick Doris, Charlie Geffen, Ali Nikpay and Selina Sagayam) that has been considering these issues for many months. Please feel free to contact any member of the working group or any of the other lawyers mentioned below.
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