UK’s Brexit negotiator self-isolates with ‘mild’ coronavirus symptoms
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    UK’s Brexit negotiator self-isolates with ‘mild’ coronavirus symptoms

    UK Brexit negotiator David Frost, left, has gone self-isolation after showing 'mild' coronavirus symptoms. His EU counterpart Michel Barnier, said he tested positive for the virus on Thursday. © Belga

    Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost has gone into self-isolation with symptoms of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), following the news that his EU counterpart said he tested positive.

    A Downing Street spokesperson said Friday that Frost had “mild” symptoms of the virus and that he had followed instructions to self-isolate, The Independent reports.

    “We remain in contact with the European Commission and expect further conversations between the teams next week,” the spokesperson added.

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    On Thursday, the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, 69, announced he had tested positive for the virus the night before, and said he was also isolating at home.

    News that both negotiators are now home-bound amid the coronavirus pandemic brings uncertainty to the negotiation agenda, which had started with a first round of negotiations on 5 March.

    The second round of talks, scheduled to take place in London this week were cancelled ahead of both officials’ move into self-isolation as the coronavirus continued to spread throughout Europe.

    In the joint statement, issued on 12 March, both sides said they were “currently exploring alternative ways to continue discussions, including, if possible, the use of video conferences.”

    The EU Commission told the Belga news agency that the Barnier’s Covid-19-positive status would change “almost nothing” to the negotiating calendar, with this team working from home and both sides busy analysing each other’s proposals.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times