Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, will travel to London on Friday evening to continue post-Brexit trade discussions with the United Kingdom, he announced on Twitter.
The face-to-face negotiations with David Frost and the rest of the UK team had had to be broken off last week after a case of Covid-19 in Barnier's team forced him into quarantine.
However, he announced that “in line with Belgian rules, my team and I are no longer in quarantine. Physical negotiations can continue.”
There is very little time left for the UK and the EU to reach an agreement that would come into force on 1 January, when the UK, which officially left the EU on 31 January, will end its transition phase and stop applying EU standards. Several European sources had hinted in recent days that Barnier would only visit London if there were positive signals in the UK. Europeans say they are weary and frustrated by the stalemate in the negotiations, but there is no question of stopping the talks.
In line with Belgian rules, my team and I are no longer in quarantine. Physical negotiations can continue.I am briefing Member States & @Europarl_EN today. Same significant divergences persist. Travelling to London this evening to continue ???? talks w/ @DavidGHFrost + team. — Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) November 27, 2020