The European Union has appointed French and German negotiator to head a "task force" whose aim it is to secure a new partnership with the United Kingdom post-Brexit. The European Commission appointed French politician Michel Barnier and German trade official Sabine Weyand to carry out negotiations with Britain's delegation headed by David Davis and Liam Fox.
Announcing the formation of the "Article 50 Task Force", the Commission said the team will be tasked with "preparing and conducting the negotiations with the UK". It will start its work on 1 October.
"Together, Michel and his team will live up to this new challenge and help us to develop a new partnership with the United Kingdom after it will have left the European Union," said commission president Jean Claude Juncker.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said "Brexit means Brexit" but UK is yet to trigger Article 50 that will set in motion the country's departure from the EU.
The formation came as Junker condemned the murder of a Polish man in Essex. Speaking on the suspected rise in hate crime following the Brexit vote, the president said: "We Europeans can never accept, never, Polish workers being harassed, beaten up or even murdered in the streets of Essex.
"The free movement of workers is as much a common European value as our fight against discrimination and racism," he added.
His comments referred to the killing of Arkadiusz Jozwik, a 40-year-old man who was attacked by a group of teenagers on 27 August outside the TGF Pizza and Mr Luigi's takeaway shops in The Stow. He died two days after the attack and Essex Police said it was treating the incident as a "potential hate crime".