Negotiations between the European Union and the UK over a trade agreement have been suspended due to a coronavirus infection of a member of the European delegation. This was announced by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on his Twitter account.
According to him, the parties decided to stop negotiations for a short time. Barnier added that the parties will continue their work in full compliance with the instructions.
The UK officially left the European Union on February 1. Until the end of 2020, the parties agreed on a transition period during which most EU laws, including trade rules, will continue to apply in the United Kingdom. Before the end of the transition period, Brussels and London had to agree on the format of future relations and conclude a new trade agreement. However, in July 2020, the parties prematurely stopped regular negotiations, as they could not come to an agreement on a number of issues.
The differences, in particular, relate to the movement of goods across the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland: the former is part of the EU, the latter left the Union along with London. In addition, the UK does not want to provide access for European fishermen to its areas, as this is incompatible with the country’s status as an independent state.