Coronavirus outbreak may delay UK’s withdrawal from the EU
UK-EU negotiations have been put on hold due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The UK government spokesman said “Both sides remain fully committed to the negotiations and we remain in regular contact with the European Commission to consider alternative ways to continue discussions, including looking at the possibility of video conferencing or conference calls, and exploiting flexibility in the structure in the coming weeks”. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged by a group of MEPs to delay his Brexit deadline as countries around the world continue to battle the coronavirus. EU’s chief negotiators Michel Barnier and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has contracted the disease and UK’s top negotiator David Frost has been forced to self- isolate in his home. Boris Johnson has not yet formally declared whether the transition period will be extended. The UK is scheduled to withdraw from the EU on the 31 December 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unforeseen crisis that complicates an already very ambitious schedule. The EU has declared that it remains open to extend the transition period and the decision is now up to the British Government.