The chief negotiators of the European Union Y United Kingdom for a framework of bilateral relationship after the ‘“Brexi ”, Michel barnier and David Frost, have decided to suspend the round of contacts they had in Brussels after a member of the European team has tested positive for coronavirus.
“We have decided to suspend the negotiations at our level for a short period,” Barnier reported through his official profile on Twitter, to later specify that the talks will continue to technical level “in full compliance with the guidelines”.
Barnier, who was already infected by the covid-19 in March, he plans to inform the ambassadors of the EU of advances in talks this Friday, although Barnier could intervene electronically if the appearance is maintained despite the setback.
— David Frost (@DavidGHFrost) November 19, 2020
Frost, for his part, said via Twitter that he is in “close contact” with the European negotiator and thanked the “immediate help and support” of the European Comission. “The health of our teams comes first,” added the negotiator, whose team had traveled to Brussels to participate in the negotiation round that was to last all this week.
Negotiation against the clock
The parties negotiate against the clock to try to reach an agreement on the basis of the future relationship in time for when the ‘Brexit’ is consumed on December 31, to avoid that the lack of consensus forces to frame the commercial relations according to the rules on tariffs and quotas set by the World Trade Organization.
Although the divorce will be effective from January 1 of next year, the EU has repeatedly warned that any future agreement requires legal and parliamentary processing that takes weeks, so if it does not take place in the next few days it could not enter in force in time for the breakout.