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17 Apr 2020
Chief Brexit negotiator David Frost has confirmed that post-Brexit trade talks are continuing despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
Mr Frost has been speaking to his European counterpart Michel Barnier in order to set dates to continue trade discussions remotely through the rest of April and into May.
Speculation had been rife that the deadline for agreeing a trade deal would be extended past 31 December to take into account the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UK economy. However, Downing Street has confirmed that there will be no change to the deadline for having a UK-EU trade deal in place despite the ongoing lockdown.
The UK is currently in a transition period, and as such must continue to operate by EU regulations.
Commenting on the issue, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said: 'We remain in contact with the European Commission to explore alternative ways to continue discussions, and will be guided by scientific advice.'