Big Phil trades up in parliament

MEP Seán Kelly: Trade portfolio increasingly important

SEÁN Kelly has welcomed Phil Hogan’s appointment to the highly significant post of Commissioner for Trade by European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen.

Phil Hogan: New role

The Killarney-based leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament said it is a very important portfolio for both the Union and Ireland and his appointment is a clear recognition of the good work Mr Hogan did as Agriculture Commissioner over the last five years.

“This is the first time Ireland has been given the significant trade portfolio at the Commission, which is increasingly important now with many free trade agreements on the horizon and can be of enormous benefit to Ireland, especially in a post-Brexit scenario when we need to diversify and grow new markets,” Mr Kelly said.

“Of course, if Brexit does happen then the Trade Commissioner would be heavily involved in any negotiations on a future trading relationship between the EU and UK,” the Ireland South MEP added.

The appointment of the new Commission is subject to European Parliament approval with Commissioners-designate due to come before parliamentary committee hearings in the coming weeks for individual evaluation.

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