Brexit Talks Have Been Suspended After A Member Of The EU Negotiating Team Tested Positive For Covid-19
A member of the EU team has tested positive for Covid-19 (PA)
Talks on the UK’s future relationship with the EU are to be halted for a “short period” after one of the EU’s negotiating team tested positive for coronavirus.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier confirmed the news via Twitter, stating that he and his British counterpart David Frost had agreed to cease top level talks following the news.
But he insisted that the wider teams would “continue their work in full respect of guidelines” in the meantime.
He wrote: “One of the negotiators in my team has tested positive for COVID-19. With [David Frost] we have decided to suspend the negotiations at our level for a short period. The teams will continue their work in full respect of guidelines.”
Mr Frost said he was in “close contact” with Mr Barnier about the situation, and that the “health of our teams” was his top priority.
A government spokesperson said they had been informed of the situation by the EU side and were “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 of our teams,” they added.
The pause comes at a crucial moment for the talks, with less than two months to go until the transition period ends between the UK and the EU.
At the weekend, senior officials from both sides agreed that this would need to be “move week” if a deal was to be reached by the end of the year.