Jean-Claude Juncker provisionally backs Sir Julian King to be the UK's next EU Commissioner

Francesca Washtell
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Juncker met with commissioner nominee Sir Julian King today in Brussels (Source: Getty)

Jean-Claude Juncker has provisionally backed the nomination of Sir Julian King to become the UK's new EU commissioner.

The president of the European Commission will determine whether to appoint King, whom he met in Brussels this morning, by the end of the month.

"President Juncker was able to establish Sir Julian's European competencies. On the basis of this meeting and his biography, the president is reflecting on possible portfolios and he will announce his decision by the end of this month," EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said to a press conference, Reuters reported.

The UK's former commissioner, Lord Jonathan Hill, resigned after the surprise pro-Brexit result of last month's referendum.

David Cameron put King forward for the role on Friday. He is currently serving as the UK's ambassador to France and was previously director general at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read more: Juncker: "Sad heroes Boris and Farage left "the boat" after Brexit vote

"Sir Julian is a very experienced diplomat with particular experience in European affairs, and I believe he will be a strong addition to the Commission," Cameron said in a statement on Friday.

The UK still remains a fully-fledged member of the EU, and therefore has the right to nominate a replacement despite its vote to leave the 28-member bloc.

Juncker has previously said he believes a replacement should take Lord Hill's place until the UK has formally left the organisation.

In other news, it also emerged this morning that Juncker placed a bet on the UK voting for Brexit last month - seemingly with Lord Hill.

In an interview with Germany's Spiegel magazine, he said: "I put my money on Brexit."

He added that Lord Hill, who was the EU's financial stability commissioner, still owes him a pound.

Brexit Britain: What you need to know

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