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Coronavirus pandemic threatens post-Brexit trade talks

Brexit Coronavirus
Two lead negotiators have isolated themselves due to the pandemic, which might bring a change to the timeline

Despite the UK Prime Minister’s determination to conclude a post-Brexit trade talk this year, the coronavirus pandemic might disrupt the timeline, the media reported.

The UK, which left the European Union, on January 31st, is in a transition period till the end of this year. However, two negotiators who were leading the post-Brexit trade talks have self-quarantined themselves. Also, the UK has been heavily affected by the pandemic with countries such as Italy, Spain and France.

Constantine Fraser, European political analyst at research firm TS Lombard, told CNBC, “The coronavirus pandemic has completely taken over the agenda in both the EU and in London, and relegated the Brexit talks to a secondary issue. It was always going to be difficult to reach an agreement in the limited time available this year. The pandemic means it will now be impossible.”

The EU’s negotiator, Michel Barnier, also tested positive for the Covid-19 virus last month, however, he has now recovered. Even the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Boris Johnson administration yesterday revealed that they are not looking to extend the post-Brexit transition period even though trade negotiations with the European Union have stalled due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed the world in a state of lockdown.

Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva suggested that Britain and the EU should extend their deadline on striking a post-Brexit trade deal in the face of coronavirus uncertainty.

The IMF also warned that the coronavirus pandemic is pushing the global economy into recession, which could be worse than the 2008 financial crisis.

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