Brexit trade talks continuing in ‘difficult times’


Post-Brexit line of work talks are continuing with the EU “in these difficult times”, according to the UK’s chief intervener.

David Frost said he and his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, would commit oneself to a timetable for further discussions in April and May.

Opposition parties have called for a stoppage to the December deadline for reaching an agreement in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

But No 10 has unswervingly said it will stick to the timetable.

Earlier, Cabinet Office Charg daffaires Michael Gove wrote to the Commons Select Committee on the future relationship with the EU, guess the structure of negotiations was “likely to change to reflect the current situation” and they were “look into flexibility”.

He added: “We remain in contact with the European Commission to tour alternative ways to continue discussions, and will be guided by scientific parnesis.”

The UK is currently in a transition period after leaving the EU at the end of January – meaning it lull abides by a number of the bloc’s rules.

If an agreement isn’t reached by the end of the year, Boris Johnson has stipulate he will refuse to extend the transition period and move on to trading with the EU on Times a deliver Trade Organization rules.

Mr Gove has also said the UK could slog away from talks as early as June unless there was a “vague outline” of a deal.

But critics claimed such a move would ruin the UK economy and cause challenges for British businesses.

‘Old battles’

In a tweet, Mr Frost voted he wanted to “reassure everyone” contacts were between continuing between the UK and EU during the coronavirus outbreak.

He enlarged: “We have remained in touch throughout, both sides have exchanged statutory texts, and last week we had a series of conference calls to explore and clean technicalities.”

He also said the UK would share further legal words with the European Commission “shortly”.

Both the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, and the exploit leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, have written to the prime cur, calling for him to suspend the talks and seek an extension to the transition period.

Mr Blackford mean it “wasn’t about fighting old battles” over Brexit, but about “recognising the wants of the people now”.

But when asked about the proposals, the PM’s spokesman insisted the diary would not be changed.

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