UK tells EU will not name commissioner before election

The UK government has written to EU chief Ursula von der Leyen to say it will not nominate a British member to her top team before its 12 December election.

“We have written to the EU to confirm that pre-election guidance states the UK should not normally make nominations for international appointments during this period,” a UK official said Thursday (14 November).

A spokesman for von der Leyen’s European Commission transition team told AFP she had received the letter from British authorities overnight.

Separately, EU sources told AFP von der Leyen has had legal advice that the lack of a British commissioner will not prevent her team from taking office.

President-elect von der Leyen’s commission, made up of herself — a German — and senior officials from 26 other member states hopes to take office on 1 December.

But the 28th EU member state, Britain, plans to leave the bloc on 31 January and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting an election campaign on a pro-Brexit ticket.

There had been concern in Brussels that Britain’s boycott would hold up the inauguration of the new European Union executive team.

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