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Anjum Shabbir
16th April 2020
External Relations & Trade Internal Market

Joint Statement further to yesterday’s meeting between EU and UK Brexit negotiators

A Joint Statement has been released today concerning the latest meeting concerning Brexit negotiations, against the recent backdrop of media reporting that the UK will not be seeking an extension of the transition period despite being rocked, like many other countries, with the COVID-19 pandemic, which had also prevented further negotiating rounds from taking place – two sessions were cancelled and both lead negotiators went into self-isolation having displayed symptoms of the coronavirus.

The meeting was held yesterday between Michel Barnier and David Frost, the appointed Brexit negotiators.

The Statement cursorily describes the meeting as ‘constructive’, that the ‘technical work’ that has taken place since the first negotiating round in early March was considered, and that it was agreed to organise further negotiating rounds with a view to making progress by June. It was also again affirmed that proper and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement was a key priority for both parties – Specialised Committees will be meeting soon.

So far the UK has sent the EU draft legal texts on energy and law enforcement, trade, air safety, air transport and civil nuclear – but nothing on fishing rights. The EU’s draft legal texts can be accessed here.

The only actual acknowledgment of the coronavirus crisis in the Statement refers to those future rounds taking place by videoconference, with the following dates having been set: 20 April, 11 May and 1 June 2020, for which it was promised agendas would later be published online.

A different position on extending the transition period changes can still be expressed and must be agreed by both sides by 1 July 2020.

Read the statement here.


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