Just when you think Brexit is over, former EU negotiator Michel Barnier has been given a new job title of special adviser to the EU Commission President to oversee the future relationship dealings between the UK and EU.
Congratulations @MarosSefcovic on your appointment!— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) January 19, 2021
Honoured to continue @EU_Commission for a few weeks, as special adviser to @vonderleyen. I will continue working closely with @Europarl_EN & Council to ensure smooth ratification on the EU side. https://t.co/0Mx1dqPkvJ
The special adviser position was given to Barnier after being forced to retire as Brexit negotiator at the end of last month. Today European Commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas also announced Maros Sefcovic as co-chair of the UK-EU Partnership Council, a body designed to sort out any future disputes that may arise.
The European Commission vice-president said: “The European Commission has today decided to establish a new service, which will be part of the secretariat general and support the efficient and rigorous implementation and monitoring of our agreements with the United Kingdom.
“This comes as the Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom, which successfully spearheaded our negotiations until the agreement was reached on Christmas Eve, will cease to exist on March 1.
“In this context, I am pleased to share that Michel Barnier has been appointed special adviser to the President.
“He will advise our President on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, as well as on the ratification process of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
“At the same time, my colleague, vice-president Maros Sefocvic will be the EU representative in the Partnership Council established in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement in the capacity of co-chair.”
Both Barnier and Sefocvic will be ordered to make sure the UK sticks to the level playing field provisions in the trade treaty. This means that if Britain becomes too competitive, The EU can sanction Britain with tariffs.
Calls for much bigger sanctions against Britain in forms of tariffs are being considered after some EU states want Britain to be held accountable if they try to drift away.