Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed he intends to nominate Phil Hogan for a second term as Ireland's member of the European Commission.

Mr Varadkar said that over the past five years, Commissioner Hogan has done an excellent job as European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. 

He has highlighted the interests and concerns of the agricultural sector across Europe, the Taoiseach said.

"Phil is widely respected in Brussels and across the EU as a skilled negotiator and someone who builds alliances.

"He has also been a very important voice on Brexit, ensuring that his colleagues in the Commission have a keen understanding of the potential negative impact that the UK's exit will have on Ireland and other Member States," Mr Varadkar said.

The Taoiseach added that Mr Hogan had secured an aid package for Irish beef farmers, in recognition of the significant challenges facing the sector as a result of ongoing market turbulence related to Brexit.

"His re-nomination is an endorsement of his work to date, and an indication of the importance we place on our engagement with EU institutions. We need our best people in Europe.

"The Government will now work closely with our colleagues in the EU to support him in securing the best possible portfolio in the new Commission," Mr Varadkar said.

Meanwhile, speaking to RTÉ's Europe Editor Tony Connelly, Phil Hogan has Boris Johnson could act differently as British prime minister than as a candidate for leadership of the Conservative Party and may support the Withdrawal Agreement in the autumn.

Mr Hogan told RTÉ News: "I take hope from the fact that [Mr Johnson] voted for this particular deal on one occasion in recent times and if he sticks to this particular agreement and concentrates on the future relationship we may get a deal in the autumn.

"Elections to the leadership of a party are much different [compared] to when you get the job as prime minister. You have to behave a little bit differently.

"I hope that at the end of the day that common sense will prevail and that there will be an orderly exit from the EU by the UK, and that ultimately is what business and people generally in the UK will demand of their politicians in the autumn."

Mr Hogan described himself as "satisfied" in his five years as Ireland's commissioner for agriculture and rural affairs and acknowledged that he often used robust rhetoric when addressing eurosceptics in the UK during the Brexit negotiations.

He said as an Irish commissioner he had taken the European view to the British public.

"It was not always popular. It was a truthful view, and now we're seeing the difficulties emerging in terms of the implementation of what [the UK] voted for in 2016.

"I'm very satisfied I played a role in crystalising the issues for the benefit of the EU within the UK. I tell it like it is in any situation so [the rhetoric] shouldn't be any surprise." 

Mr Hogan said he understood that farmers were "frightened" by the prospect of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement, but he accused opponents of the deal of peddling "misinformation" about what it contained. 

"The deal that I have negotiated doesn't seem the same as the deal I'm hearing about," he told RTÉ News. 

He said that in 2018 the Mercosur quota for exporting beef into the EU was 247,000 tonnes and that none of it came into Ireland. 

"We have to worry about Brexit more particularly, because this is where we will sell our prime fillets of beef in the years ahead and we'll have to maintain our market share there," he said. 

The Commissioner, who is one of a number seeking re-appointment to the EU's executive body, declined to be drawn on widespread speculation that he could be appointed as EU trade commissioner. 

He said the Taoiseach had to "have a conversation" with the incoming president-elect Ursula von der Leyen about which portfolio Ireland would be offered. 

He pointed out that both Frans Timmermans and Margarethe Vestager would be appointed as vice-presidents of the Commission and would therefore be appointed to top portfolios.

"I don't know…how [Ms von der Leyen] is going to structure the Commission, the number of vice-presidents she's going to have.It's early days.There are a lot of issues at play politically and in terms of structure."

On Brexit, Mr Hogan said "the ball is in the UK court. I hope they have good ideas to deal with this political paralysis."