Crunch talks over a post-Brexit trade agreement were abruptly disrupted on Thursday when one European Union(EU official involved in the negotiations tested positive for the coronavirus.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said in a tweet on Thursday that he would suspend talks with his UK counterpart David Frost “for a short period.” Barnier added, however, that the two teams will continue their work “in full respect of guidelines.”
It’s unclear how the temporary withdrawal of the two chief negotiators will affect the deliberations, just 41 days before the end of the post-Brexit transition period. The two sides are trying to reach an agreement by early next week to allow time for any accord to be ratified before the year-end.
“The health of our teams comes first,” Frost said in a tweet, adding that he is in close contact with Barnier about the situation.