EU unimpressed over Liz Truss’s post-Brexit threats
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Ever since the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016, the two have been locked in discussions as to how life will look in a post-Brexit world. Until recently, Lord David Frost and Maros Sefcovic have led negotiations for the UK and EU, respectively. Mr Sefcovic has enjoyed a successful career in European diplomacy and politics, which has led to his current role. Here, Express.co.uk takes a look at the rise of the EU’s lead negotiator on Brexit.
Where in the EU is Mr Sefcovic from?
Maros Sefcovic hails from Slovakia and was born in the country’s capital, Bratislava, on July 24, 1966.
He attended University in Russia at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, where he studied from 1985 to 1990.
Initially, Mr Sefcovic began his career as a diplomat working for his country of birth.
Where has he worked previously?
He spent time working in Zimbabwe and Canada, and as the Slovakian ambassador to Israel between 1999 and 2002.
Then, in 2004, Mr Sefcovic began his first job which brought him into contact with the EU, where he was employed as the Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the bloc.
The 55-year-old held this position for around five years before he was elected the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth.
After less than a year in the role, Mr Sefcovic became Vice-President (VP) for Interinstitutional Relations and Administration.
This time he would remain in the same job for four years until he was appointed VP of the European Commission for Energy Union.
Here, he served under the Commission’s then president Jean-Claude Juncker, for five years, helping countries from central, eastern and southeast Europe to become more self-reliant with regards to their energy consumption.
After winning the election to become President of the Commission in 2019 Ursula von der Leyen nominated Mr Sefcovic to his current position as VP for interinstitutional relations and foresight.
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How’s he involved in Brexit?
Mr Sefcovic has been co-chairing and representing the EU in the Partnership Council established by the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Until last month, Lord David Frost had represented the UK Government in the talks, which first met on June 9, 2021.
Lord Frost resigned after saying he could no longer support decisions made by the Government in relation to Covid restrictions.
The Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was installed as his successor and on Thursday she will hold her first talks with Mr Sefcovic since assuming the responsibility.
Mr Sefcovic will be hosted at the Chevening country retreat in Buckinghamshire for a two-day summit.
Discussions are expected to focus on the Northern Ireland Protocol, which has been a point of contention since the UK officially exited its transition period with the EU last year.
The protocol keeps Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market for goods.
Consequently, this means that goods can flow freely between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, removing the threat of a “hard border”
However, goods arriving into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK are not afforded the same luxuries and are now subject to more stringent checks and control.
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