Jonathan Hill’s post-referendum resignation as the UK’s EU Commissioner was a deeply regrettable act. Even after the referendum, the UK remained a member of the EU and thus entitled to a commissioner.
The UK government has nominated Sir Julian King, the Ambassador to Paris, as Hill’s replacement. Today, the Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that he would, subject to European Parliament’s approval, like King to be the Security Commissioner.
This is a grown-up, mature decision. King has been offered a proper job, not a small one designed to punish the UK for Brexit. The role also recognises the reality that UK-EU co-operation on anti-terrorism measures will need to continue long after Brexit. The appointment is another illustration of how the security situation in Europe is making everyone realise that the UK and the EU will need to continue to co-operate on a friendly and substantive basis post-Brexit.