Julian King is poised to become the U.K.’s last European Union commissioner, in charge of implementing the bloc’s security polices, after a key committee of EU lawmakers approved his nomination on Tuesday.
Mr. King’s performance during a three-hour hearing on Monday evening in the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee was convincing enough for the committee to endorse his nomination, said Claude Moraes, the committee chair.
“We think he should be appointed as the next commissioner for the security union,” Mr. Moraes said in a news conference Tuesday.
A vote by the full house of the European Parliament is scheduled for Thursday and is expected to pass with a strong majority.
What remains unclear is the length of Mr. King’s term, which will end the day Britain leaves the bloc. But during his hearing on Monday, Mr. King said the U.K. will have to continue to work on counterterrorism with the EU and boost police and intelligence cooperation.
“London will still be two hours by train from Paris and two hours by train from Brussels,” Mr. King said. To jihadi terrorists it doesn’t make a difference if we are an EU member or not, he added.
Mr. King, a British career civil servant currently serving as ambassador to France, was nominated earlier this summer to replace his predecessor, Jonathan Hill.
In charge of EU’s financial regulation, Mr. Hill resigned after the June referendum in which Britons voted for the U.K. to leave the EU and his portfolio was taken over by another commissioner. As long as Britain is still a member of the bloc, it is entitled to a commissioner in the bloc’s influential executive arm, where each EU country has a representative.
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