Brexit talks suspended due to coronavirus case

EU negotiators discuss Brexit with the UK government

EU negotiators discuss Brexit with the UK government - Credit: Twitter

Despite the EU originally setting a deadline for this week, both sides have agreed to suspend talks after another positive case of coronavirus amongst the negotiation teams.

Brussels diplomat Michel Barnier announced that high-level talks between the EU and UK would be paused with just 42 days until the Brexit transition period ends.

He tweeted: “One of the negotiators in my team has tested positive for COVID-19.

“With David Frost we decided to suspend the negotiations at our level for a short period.

The teams will continue their work in full respect of guidelines.”

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Lord Frost tweeted:  “I am in close contact with Michel Barnier about the situation.

“The health of our teams comes first. I would like to thank the EU Commission for their immediate help and support.”

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European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen wished the member of the negotiating team a “speedy recovery”.

She said work would continue “in full respect of” Covid-19 rules.

A UK government spokesman said: “The commission has informed us that an official in their delegation has tested positive for Covid-19.

“We are discussing with them the implications for the negotiations.

“We have been, and will continue to, act in line with public health guidelines and to ensure the health and welfare our teams.”

Last week the bloc had set a deadline for Thursday warning that talks needed to be completed for an EU summit, despite both acknowledging it was unlikely to reach agreement. 

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