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EU-UK Brexit trade talks cancelled due to coronavirus

Christian Fernsby |
Britain and the European Union agreed to cancel face-to-face trade negotiations planned for next week in London due to the coronavirus outbreak, the UK government said on Thursday, adding however that alternatives were being explored.

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The move threatens a timeline which many in the EU thought was already optimistic, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking a new deal by the end of the year.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit financial markets hard and forced governments to take unprecedented measures to restrict citizens' movements and limit the spread of the disease.

"Given the latest coronavirus developments, UK and EU negotiators have today jointly decided not to hold next week's round of negotiations in London, in the form originally scheduled," a British statement said.

"Both sides are currently exploring alternative ways to continue discussions, including if possible the use of video conferences."

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