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Despite Coronavirus crisis UK, EU to continue Brexit talks next week

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 April 2020, 8:38 IST
UK, EU to continue Brexit talks

The UK's and EU's top negotiators agreed on Wednesday on a schedule for the next three rounds of talks on Brexit, which will be held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, to reach a "tangible" progress on the matter by June.

Earlier in the day, David Frost and Michel Barnier met via a videoconference. Both of them have recently recovered from COVID-19.

"The two sides took stock of the technical work that has taken place since the first negotiating round on the basis of the legal texts exchanged by both sides. While this work has been useful to identify all major areas of divergence and convergence, the two sides agreed on the need to organise further negotiating rounds in order to make real, tangible progress in the negotiations by June," they said in a joint statement, following the video conference.

A total of three online rounds of talks have been agreed, with the first week-long round set to begin April 20. The other two are supposed to start at May 11 and June 1 respectively.

"The High Level meeting foreseen for June will take stock of the progress made," the statement specified.

The UK left the EU on January 31, after more than three years of negotiations. A transition period is currently in force that gives London and Brussels time to strike a number of agreements, the most important of which is a trade deal. The transition period is to end on December 31.


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First published: 16 April 2020, 8:38 IST