Read more about Guy Guy Verhofstadt here
But Europe’s Conservatives and Reformists are not happy.
In response to Verhofstadt’s appointment, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament, said all 751 MEPs should decide the parliament’s Brexit negotiator.
Brexit supporter and ECR leader Syed Kamall said: “It is not right that the President and a couple of men sitting in a back room can decide everything and foist it on the democratically elected representatives… If the parliament thinks that Guy Verhofstadt is the right person to represent it in the negotiations then that’s fair enough, but these backroom stitch-ups are disrespectful of the 747 other MEPs and their voters.”
Working with his counterpart,Michel Barnier, negotiator for the European Commission, Guy Verhofstadt has been appointed to keep the Conference of Presidents (comprising the EP President and group leaders) fully informed of Brexit negotiating developments.
He will help prepare the European Parliament’s position in the negotiations, in close consultation with the Conference of Presidents. The European Parliament will need to approve a possible agreement on the conditions for the UK’s departure from the EU.
Once article 50 of the EU Treaty has been triggered by the UK authorities and the European Council has adopted the negotiation guidelines, Mr Verhofstadt will also work closely with the Chair of the Constitutional Affairs committee, Danuta Hübner (EPP, PL), and other committees wherever necessary to shape the EP’s negotiating position.
Guy Verhofstadt, who is leader of the ALDE Group, also led negotiations on behalf of the European Parliament for the inter-institutional agreement on Better Law Making, adopted by the European Parliament on 9 March 2016.
Find press release here
Verhofstadt posted on Twitter: “Honour to be appointed as lead #Brexit negotiator for @Europarl_EN, which will play central role Art 50 deal + any future EU-UK agreements.”