THE UK’s European Commissioner has announced he will stand down from his post in the wake of Thursday’s referendum vote to leave the EU.
Lord Hill of Oareford said he had told Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker that he will continue his work as commissioner for financial stability over the coming weeks to allow for an “orderly handover” of his responsibilities.
It was not immediately clear whether he will be replaced on the commission, which contains one member from each of the union’s 28 member states.
In a statement, Lord Hill said: “Like many people here and in the UK, I am obviously very disappointed about the result of the referendum.
“I wanted it to end differently and had hoped that Britain would want to play a role in arguing for an outward-looking, flexible, competitive, free-trade Europe. But the British people took a different decision and that is the way that democracy works.
“As we move to a new phase, I don’t believe it is right that I should carry on as the British Commissioner as though nothing had happened.
“In line with what I discussed with the president of the commission some weeks ago, I have therefore told him that I shall stand down.
“At the same time, there needs to be an orderly handover, so I have said that I will work with him to make sure that happens in the weeks ahead.”
Former PR lobbyist and Conservative minister Jonathan Hill, 55, was appointed by David Cameron in 2014 to take over the UK’s seat on the commission from Baroness Ashton, who had served under Mr Juncker’s predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso.
Lord Hill said: “I came to Brussels as someone who had campaigned against Britain joining the euro and who was sceptical about Europe.
“I will leave it certain that, despite its frustrations, our membership was good for our place in the world and good for our economy.
“But what is done cannot be undone and now we have to get on with making our new relationship with Europe work as well as possible.”