Brexit-bashing eurocrat Selmayr set to lose top job as EU cracks down on Berlin’s control | World | News


EU leaders want to axe the controversial European Commission secretary-general when his boss leaves his post after October. German-born Mr Selmayr, the EU’s most senior civil servant, oversaw Mr Juncker’s dramatic rise to power before being parachuted in to his previous role. But after the bloc’s leaders selected German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen to become the next Commission president, EU leaders voiced concerns that keeping Mr Selmayr in place hands Berlin too much power.

Multiple EU diplomats from across the bloc conceded that it would be “increasingly difficult” for Mr Selmayr under the current circumstances.

The German’s likely demotion will come as a boost to Britain’s next prime minister when the next phase of Brexit talks start.

Mr Selmayr, who once described a Boris Johnson premiership as his “horror scenario”, has been in charge of the EU-wide plans for no deal.

He is widely understood to have wanted to “punish” Britain for attempting to leave the EU and urged leaders to follow his hardline stance.

Mr Selmayr, who is nicknamed the “Brussels monster” because of his uncompromising style, was also accused of leaking anti-Brexit details from a private dinner between Mr Juncker and Theresa May at Number. 10.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab accused the chief eurocrat of claiming “that Northern Ireland was the price the UK would pay for Brexit”.

The EU’s top civil servant has firmly rebuked the comments made by the Conservative MP.

Others have claimed Mr Selmayr is behind the EU’s effort to block Britain out of the Galileo satellite project after Brexit.

One diplomat said Mr Selmayr’s role is becoming “questionable”, adding: “Unless he takes another job, I think he’ll need to go.”

A second said EU leaders’ concerns about two Germans being at the top of the Commission is “entirely logical”.

A third source added: “Selmayr is someone who has been despised across EU capitals.

“You often hear complaints about how he got the job, and the lack of transparency. But it’s not easy to fire him. When this all happened, the main controversy was that he was simply put in the job and it’s literally impossible to kick him out.”

Pieter Cleppe, of the Open Europe think tank, said: “Selmayr has been pushing to punish the UK for Brexit, apparently hoping this would somehow re-energise the EU project.

“It would be good to see him leaving his powerful job.”

But even if Mr Selmayr is booted out of his top Brussels job, he could still pile further misery on Britain.

The German eurocrat has been widely touted to become the bloc’s first ambassador to London after Brexit.

In the job he would likely play a key in trade negotiations between Downing Street and Brussels from the British capital.



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