UK-EU free trade meetings not to go ahead next week

Scheduled meetings between representatives from the UK and the EU, who were due to hold talks next week in London on a free-trade deal, will now not go ahead in a face-to-face format.

The news was confirmed in a joint statement by the negotiating teams from both the UK and EU. The face-to-face meetings have been suspended in light of coronavirus (Covid-19).

The two teams will now consider other methods to speak with each other, including video conference.

Given the latest Covid-19 developments, EU and UK negotiators have today jointly decided not to hold next week’s round of negotiations in London, in the form originally scheduled.

“Both sides are currently exploring alternative ways to continue discussions, including possibly the use of video conference,” the statement confirmed.

Covid-19 in Ireland

Yesterday saw a large-scale escalation in the Government’s response to coronavirus.

Among these, schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from today, Friday, March 13. Also, the Taoiseach advised that indoor gatherings of over 100 people, and outdoor gatherings of over 500 people, should be cancelled.

This advice was virtually unanimously welcomed, including in the agriculture sector.

Teagasc confirmed to AgriLand yesterday that it would be following the Government’s advice on the closure of educational institutions.

A spokesperson for Teagasc confirmed that its colleges will be closing, in line with the Taoiseach’s statement.

Teagasc is making contingency arrangements to deal with closures and will be in direct contact with learners in this regard.

In terms of Teagasc-organised events, all indoor Teagasc events with an expected attendance of more than 100 people will be postponed. All outdoor events with an expected attendance of over 500 people will also be postponed.