Michel Barnier has tested positive for coronavirus | François Walschaerts/AFP via Getty Images
Michel Barnier has coronavirus
EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said he is ‘in good spirits.’
Updated 3/19/20, 12:06 PM CET
LONDON — EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has “tested positive for COVID-19.”
“For all those affected already, and for all those currently in isolation, we will get through this together.”
Brexit talks between the U.K. and the EU were due to take place in London this week but officials were unable to travel due to fears about the coronavirus. A plan to hold discussions through videoconference never materialized.
Many experts say an extension to the Brexit transition period is is now inevitable due to the disruption the virus will bring and the limited bandwidth of governments to cope. However the U.K. government insists it will stick to the planned timeline.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday the issue has “been legislated for,” referring to the law passed by parliament in January that bans the government from requesting an extension.
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