Brexit talks: how the two teams line up – The Guardian

Brexit talks: how the two teams line up – The Guardian

The Brits (from left to flags)

1 Tim Barrow was named as the UK’s EU ambassador in January, after the sudden departure of Ivan Rogers, who quit after challenging the government’s “ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking” on Brexit. Noted for his Savile Row suits and battered briefcase, Barrow was the bearer of the UK’s article 50 letter to EU leaders.

2 David Davis is a lifelong Eurosceptic, who now has to put his ideas into practice as secretary of state for Brexit. Known to his friends as “the old knuckleduster”, his views on Europe were formed when working as a young executive for Tate & Lyle, battling European sugar regulation.

3 Oliver Robbins, permanent secretary of the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), is Davis’s right-hand man and will lead the technical heavy lifting during the talks. He also has national security credentials, having advised David Cameron on this issue.

4 Philip Rycroft is the second most senior civil servant at DExEU, charged with making sure that Brexit does not undermine the unity of the UK.

5 Glyn Williams leads immigration policy at the Home Office, where he is charged with devising the post-Brexit rules. He was involved in working on David Cameron’s “special status” deal in February 2016.

The EU team (from flags to right)

1 François Arbault, a French national, is a close confidant of the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, having worked for him in 2010-13. He is now charged with focusing on the movement of goods.

2 Philippe Bertrand is Barnier’s top specialist on the Brexit bill. He has long experience of the ritual haggling involved in negotiating EU budgets.

3 Georg Emil Riekeles is charged with keeping relations sweet between Barnier and the other EU institutions – notably the European council, which will take the ultimate decisions, and the European parliament, which has a veto on the Brexit deal.

4 Richard Szostak is the eyes and ears of European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. He works in Juncker’s personal office, where he leads on relations with non-EU countries, including Turkey and Switzerland.

5 Sabine Weyand is Barnier’s deputy and will be the linchpin of the EU’s team. A German political scientist who has also studied English literature, she is rated in Brussels for her mastery of technical detail and no-nonsense style.

6 Nicolas de la Grandville can often be seen standing discreetly on the sidelines at EU events. A former adviser to French president Nicolas Sarkozy, he is the European commission’s director of protocol.

7 Michel Barnier was well known in European capitals long before he was appointed as the EU’s Mr Brexit last summer. A former French foreign minister and EU commissioner, he infuriated City bankers when he was in charge of regulating financial services. Now his slogan is “keep calm and negotiate”.

8 Stéphanie Riso, a French national, was already working on the delicate task of mapping out the EU’s next seven-year budget when she was picked to join Barnier’s team. Filling the Brexit black hole in the EU’s finances is one of the biggest worries in Brussels.

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