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Exclusive: Penny Mordaunt appointed as Commons minister on EU negotiations

2 min read

Penny Mordaunt, the Paymaster General, has been appointed as the Commons minister on the European Union negotiations.

Mordaunt, the paymaster general, announced the news in an interview with The House magazine. She supported Leave in the 2016 referendum.

She will remain on the withdrawal agreement joint committee, where she leads on citizens rights issue and will become the Commons minister on the Europe brief, working with Brexit minister Lord Frost. Her full responsibilities are yet to be announced.

She has a background in freight, having worked for the Freight Transport Association, and while there studying at their transport law college.

The news comes as a row has erupted between Britain and the EU, with Frost accusing the EU of having "undermined" post-Brexit measures in Northern Ireland by threatening to block Covid vaccine exports.

Frost also says the UK's move to extend grace periods on border checks is legal under the Brexit trade deal, but EU Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič has called it a "violation" of the withdrawal deal.

There are also reports that Ministers are preparing to relax post-Brexit plans for border checks on food and other imports from the European Union over fears of supermarket shortages.

Mordaunt, who supported Leave in the 2016 referendum, told the House about her struggles with undiagnosed dyslexia: “I cannot tell you what reading the 700-page [EU] Withdrawal Agreement in a dimly lit room, 12-point single space, is like [with dyslexia]. It was so tough, and you think: ‘God, I'm just not that bright’."

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