London Brexit talks in doubt because of coronavirus

March 12, 2020

Brexit talks due to take place in London next week have been thrown into doubt because of the coronavirus, Michael Gove has confirmed.

Gove told MPs fresh concerns about the second round of talks going ahead as planned had been raised by Brussels counterparts this morning.


About 150 delegates from Brussels were due to arrive in London for three days of talks next Wednesday.


Gove also said there was a question mark over the inaugural meeting of the EU-UK joint committee, on which he will sit, on 30 March.


Asked at the Brexit select committee if talks would be affected by the coronavirus, Gove said: “It’s a live question. We were looking forward to a joint committee in the UK on the 30th and we were also looking forward to the next stage of negotiations going ahead, but we have had indications today from Belgium there may be specific public health concerns.”


It is not clear what the fresh concerns are, but Belgium has confirmed its first death from the virus.


Last week two cases of the virus were confirmed by authorities in Brussels, one at the European Defence Agency and another at the Council of the European Union.


Gove was answering questions at the first Brexit select committee hearing since the election.


Source: The Guardian

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