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The chief negotiator of the European Commission said on Thursday that negotiations in the European Union on trade relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom were briefly suspended due to a positive coronavirus test conducted by a member of the European Union negotiating delegation.
In a tweet on Twitter, Michel Barnier reported that due to the injury of a member of his team, with the head of the British negotiating delegation, David Frost, he had decided to temporarily suspend the high-level talks. Negotiations will continue at a lower level, with full compliance with the guidelines.
The terms of the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union were negotiated in Brussels on Monday after discussions in London last week.
Barnier described the differences remaining after the London talks as “very serious”, especially on the issue of equal opportunities and fisheries regulation. He also implicitly indicated that the agreement with London is uncertain and said that the European Union “is ready for any scenario.”
Frost said in a Twitter post that although progress has been made, there is still a “strong divergence of views” on some of the key issues.
The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on January 31. On the day of his departure, an 11-month transition period began, i.e. until December 31, with the aim of allowing time to agree on the terms of a future bilateral relationship.