Michel Barnier is a French politician and former foreign minister. On Wednesday European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appointed Barnier to lead the EU’s Brexit negotiations with the UK, effective Oct. 1, 2016. In that role, he will oversee a commission task force and be advised by the officials most relevant to the Brexit talks. He will prepare for formal talks under Article 50 of the EU treaty and conduct negotiations with the UK once the exit process is triggered. He reports directly to Mr. Juncker.