Schulz says Parliament may reject Hill as UK Commissioner

Martin Schulz. Esterwegen, 2013. [Matthias Groote/Flickr]

The head of the European Parliament said today (16 July) that the "radically anti-European" views of Jonathan Hill, British premier David Cameron's nominee for the European Commission, might prevent him getting onto the EU's executive body.

"I cannot imagine Hill, whose views - in as far as he's got any - are radically anti-European, getting a majority in the European Parliament," said the legislative body's president, Martin Schulz, a Social Democrat from Germany.

London's choice of the Eurosceptic leader of the House of Lords for Britain's next European Commissioner and of prominent Eurosceptic Philip Hammond as foreign secretary have been met with dismay by some European Union politicians.

Cameron promises to renegotiate Britain's EU ties and hold an in/out referendum in 2017 if he is re-elected next year. The nominations are a nod to Eurosceptics among his Conservatives and to the growth of the anti-EU UK Independence Party.

Hill would play a major role in Cameron's plans to reshape Britain's links to Europe if appointed. But to take office, all 28 member states' nominees have to undergo confirmation hearings in September and a vote of confidence in October.

Returning as head of the European Parliament after his center-left bloc came second in May's EU election, Schulz said EU lawmakers were not prejudiced against Hill, "but it remains to be seen whether Mr Hill will be unprejudiced toward us".

"Whether he gets a majority depends on that," Schulz told the German radio station Deutschlandfunk.

Cameron bitterly opposed the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker, the former premier of Luxembourg, as the new president of the European Commission but was defeated by other EU leaders. Juncker's appointment was approved by lawmakers yesterday (see background).



Iwantout's picture

I thought Martin Schulz was supposed to be a canny political operator, the image of him telling us that Lord Hill is unlikely to be acceptable to the EP after the foisting of Jean Claude “When it becomes serious, you have to lie” Juncker on us seriously fails to understand the climate in the UK with regards to the EU. Perhaps if either of them had visited the UK at all during the EP election they might appreciate what is happening.

No doubt from the Commission / EP perspective it would just be easier if they told us who our Commissioner is going to be, our Foreign Secretary as well. Actually come to think of it why don’t they just tell us how to run every aspect of our lives?

By the way, both the institute of Directors and the CBI (seriously pro EU bodies which have publicly stated the EU needs major reform) have approved of his nomination so to describe Lord Hill as “radically anti – European” is to obviously to misunderstand exactly what it is to be anti EU in the UK now.

From my view point however, rejecting the British nominee and then assigning the individual who is finally acceptable to the EU machine to some irrelevant minor portfolio would be wonderful, further ammunition come the referendum.

an european's picture

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie”
Always the same crap again !!
Lie has two meanings and surely not in that sense you like teach !
"Juncker on us seriously fails "
Seriously ?
Come on it's merely "Cameron on us seriously fails"
His undemocratic behavior towards the treaty of Art.17 §7 explains a lot !
Even a lot of Scots don't like the UK machine is behaving !

Joe Thorpe's picture

It's a good job he isn't leading the diplomatic core. He could only say two things to irritate the British Public & fly the flag for the #Betteroffout brigade, one being to suggest rejection of someone who is hardly a flag flying anti european as like him we too haven't heard him on the subject & two to hand out a TFC portfolio that ensures we hear even less from him than we do in the Lords will further cement attitudes but hey I'm all for the exit door so bring it on!

Mike Parr's picture

But this is to rather miss the point - take a look at where Hill comes from - he has never held a job outside of the little Westminister village - his current incarnation is as a political lobbyist who happens to be a "Lord". & this is the man the Tory-Vermin are sending to Bx (& I hear he has been forced to sell his shares in the lobby company he holds!). No wonder Schultz is hostile.

I'd add: I'm hostile towards Juncker (the man that put meaning into the Luxemburg motto - "tax dodgers R US" - of course Moron-Con could not attack Juncker on this basis since..... the UK is amongst the biggest tax dodging regimes around (pot kettel etc). Of course the UK peasants miss all this

A Londoner's picture

This is a strange report. Lord Hill has received support from British Influence which campaigns to keep the UK so he is hardly closet UKIP whilst Phillip Hammond is taking the Cameron line. It is an amazingly undiplomatic remark from Schulz.

I fail to understand why the UK signed up to the treaties which established the European Parliament. The old guard UK euro-federalists have a lot to answer for. In the UK they consistently sold the project as sensible co-operation between nation states whilst in Brussels they were happy to go along with the federalist fantasies.