The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has tested positive for coronavirus, he revealed today.
The Frenchman said he was ‘doing well and in good spirits’ and announced he was ‘following the necessary instructions’ along with his staff.
Mr Barnier, 69, becomes the highest-profile EU official to be confirmed as a Covid-19 patient since the outbreak began.
Speaking from his home, the EU negotiator revealed he was tested yesterday and hailed the health workers battling the crisis.
He also held up a copy of a 1990 book he wrote called ‘Each for Everyone’ as he declared that ‘everyone has a role to play to fight this collective battle’.
‘For all those affected already, and for all those currently in isolation, we will get through this together,’ he said.
Mr Barnier had been due to resume talks with Boris Johnson’s Europe adviser David Frost on Wednesday, but these had already been scuppered by the virus outbreak.
Negotiations on a future trading relationship were expected to get back on track next week, but not in person.
Despite the disruption, the UK and EU did exchange draft legal texts for the future relationship on Wednesday evening.
Mr Johnson has insisted that the Brexit transition period will not be extended past December 31 despite the coronavirus chaos taking up so much of the government’s time.
The PM pointed to laws preventing ministers from requesting a delay when asked 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.’
Source: Daily Mail