BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union governments appointed on Monday British diplomat Julian King as the new EU commissioner in charge of security issues.

The formal appointment follows the European Parliament's endorsement last week of the new British commissioner. King replaces Jonathan Hill, the former commissioner for financial services who quit after Britain's June 23 vote to leave the EU.

"The appointment applies for the remainder of the current term of office of the Commission, which ends on 31 October 2019," the Council representing EU governments said in a statement. But King may quit before the conclusion of his term if Britain's divorce negotiations with EU partners ends sooner than that date.

Those talks have not started yet and can last up to two years after having been kicked off.

The decision for King's formal appointment was made by the Council, in accord with the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Robin Emmott)