Jonathan Hill, Britain’s European commissioner in Brussels, on Saturday announced that he was resigning in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
Lord Hill, a converted Eurosceptic, is in charge of the bloc’s important financial services portfolio and the move had been regarded in Brussels as inevitable following the Leave vote.
He said in a statement that he would stay for some weeks and work with commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on an orderly handover.
Lord Hill’s portfolio of financial services and capital markets union is likely to be taken over by commission vice-president in charge of the euro, Valdis Dombrovskis, a senior EU official said. Dombrovskis is a former prime minister of Latvia.
In a statement on the commission’s website, Lord Hill said he was “disappointed about the result of the referendum” and that he had “hoped that Britain would want to play a role in arguing for an outward-looking, flexible, competitive, free trade Europe.”
Hill said: “As we move to a new phase, I don’t believe it is right that I should carry on as the British Commissioner as though nothing had happened. 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. ”
Lord Hill has held the position as the European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union since 2014. His responsibilities included:
• Ensuring that financial markets are properly regulated and supervised, which includes the full implementation of the Banking Union.
• Establishing a Capital Markets Union by 2019, for all 28 Member States of the EU.
• Proposing measures to make financial services work better for consumers and retail investors.
• Promoting global consistency in regulation and the implementation of agreed standards and principles.
Prior to that he was leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Between 2010 and 2013 he was Under-secretary of State for Education.
He said: “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. But what is done cannot be undone and now we have to get on with making our new relationship with Europe work as well as possible.”
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