British and EU negotiators have agreed to hold three more rounds of talks on a post-Brexit trade deal in order to make “real, tangible progress” before the end of June.
The UK’s David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier said the first round of negotiations had been “useful” but said more talks were needed.
As social distancing measures persist amid coronavirus, the next rounds will be carried out by video conference.
The UK’s transition period, where it remains aligned with the trading bloc while details of its departure are ironed out, is due to end on December 31.
However, the International Monetary Fund has urged the UK and the EU not to add to the global “uncertainty” by refusing to ask for more time.
Downing Street has rebuffed the appeal, saying Britain needed to be free of EU rules to allow it the “flexibility” to manage its response to the coronavirus outbreak.
And former Brexit Party MEP Belinda de Lucy has told talkRADIO that the UK must leave the European Union on time.
She told Ian Collins that the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak could in fact help the trade talks by putting an end to “ridiculous demands” from the EU.
“I think they will be in a position where they’re facing a terrible recession in the EU and it will have to come down to reasonable level and see it’s in both our interests to have a good fair reasonable trade deal at the end of this year,” she said.
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