Ireland's EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has told MEP's tonight that the European Commission had prepared "exhaustively" for a no deal Brexit.

Mr Hogan was appearing before a European Parliament confirmation hearing for the post of Trade Commissioner. He faced questions on EU-US trade, the recent MERCOSUR trade deal, trade relations with China and climate change. 

Mr Hogan committed to using existing and future trade agreements to advance the EU's climate and sustainable development goals.

Committing to reforming the WTO, the Agriculture Commissioner said the international organisation was in its "deepest crisis since its creation" and that its dispute resolution mechanism was "falling apart". 

However, he said that "rules rather than the law of the jungle" were preferable and the multilateral institution needed to be updated.

The Agriculture Commissioner said that trade tensions with the US needed to be reduced as EU-US trade was the largest trading relationship in the world, doing €3 billion worth of business every day. He said that he was "ready to engage" and hoped the US would do likewise. He said that it took "two to tango".

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China would be the first country he would visit if confirmed, Mr Hogan told MEPs. He said the "rampant use of subsidies by China" needed to stop if a level playing field for trade was to be established.

Mr Hogan faced a large number of questions about how EU Trade deals could be used to advance improvements in climate protection measures, human rights, labour rights and sustainable development goals. 

He said that engaging in trade deals offered the EU leverage in this regard and committed to a Chief Trade Enforcement Officer to ensure future and existing trade agreements met EU goals in those areas. 

Mr Hogan said the position of the EU to negotiate with South American Mercosur countries on climate, food standards and other issues had been improved by the recent trade deal, which has yet to be ratified.