UK-EU negotiations short-term suspension due to member infection November 20 at 7:48 a.m.
The EU-European Union’s negotiating team, which is in talks on free trade agreements with the UK, has announced that it will suspend negotiations for a short period of time because one of its members has been infected with the new coronavirus. With talks difficult and deadlines looming, there is growing concern that negotiations will be delayed further.
The UK and the EU have entered a transition period until the end of the year to avoid sudden changes in society after Britain left the EU in January, and are continuing to negotiate on free trade agreements and other issues, but have been at a standstle due to gaps in positions such as fishing rights and subsidies to businesses.
Against this situation, the EU’s chief negotiator, Barnier, announced on Twitter today that “one of the negotiators was diagnosed positive for testing for the new coronavirus and decided to suspend negotiations for a short period of time.”
In response, Britain’s chief negotiator, Frost, posted that he was “in close contact with Mr Barnier” and decided to carefully consider when negotiations would resume in the future.
Both sides were aiming for an agreement before the extraordinary EU summit on the 19th, but the prospects for the future are even more uncertain due to the suspension of negotiations.
As the spread of the new coronavirus and the impact on Europe’s economy becomes more serious, there is growing concern that negotiations will be delayed further because it would be a further blow if a free trade agreement could not be concluded.