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Johnson sticks to deadline

Brexit teams exchange documents as Barnier falls ill

Michel Barnier

Michel Barnier: tested positive

UK and EU negotiators have exchanged draft legal texts for a future trading relationship as Boris Johnson insists on sticking to the Brexit deadline.

It was also confirmed that the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Barnier, 69, said he was ‘doing well and in good spirits’ and was confined to his home.

“I’m fine, morale is good,’ he said in a video on Twitter this morning. 

Mr Barnier had been due to resume talks with Mr Johnson’s Europe adviser David Frost, the former Scotch Whisky Association CEO, on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson has insisted that the Brexit transition period will not be extended past 31 December despite the coronavirus chaos taking up most of the government’s business. 

The Prime Minister referred to laws preventing ministers from requesting a delay when asked about it at his daily coronavirus press conference on Wednesday.

‘It’s not a subject that’s being regularly discussed, I can tell you, in Downing Street at the moment,’ he told reporters.

‘There is legislation in place that I have no intention of changing.’  

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