حفلة 2024

Coronavirus crisis threatens to delay post-Brexit trade talks

U.K. will most likely fail to strike a new trade agreement with the European Union by the end of the year, as the coronavirus crisis threatens to derail official trade talks.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to conclude a post-Brexit trade deal this year. The U.K. left the bloc on January 31, but it is currently in a transition phase, until December, to be able to establish future trade arrangements with the other 27 nations.

However, this timeline is now at risk after the two lead negotiators had to isolate due to Covid-19 infections.

British and European negotiating teams held a call on Wednesday for the first time since both lead negotiators were forced to self-isolate.

During their call, U.K. negotiator David Frost said Downing Street had no intention to ask for an extension to the current transition period. A U.K. government spokesman repeated Thursday that London will not ask for a delay.

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