The coronavirus pandemic has affected the European Union and the United Kingdom’s negotiations on future relations. Due to the positive test results of a member of the EU negotiating team for COVID-19, the European and British suspended face-to-face dialogue on the 19th and turned to remote negotiations.
A spokesman for the British government said that face-to-face dialogue will resume after ensuring security. At present, no member of the British negotiating team needs to be self-quarantined.
After Brexit in January this year, Britain entered a transitional period of maintaining the status quo with the EU relations. The British and European sides were originally scheduled to finalize future relationship arrangements such as the trade rules applicable from next year during the transitional period to end of this year, but so far there has been no significant progress in the negotiations.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on the 19th that Europe must relax epidemic prevention restrictions “slowly and gradually” to avoid a recurrence of the coronavirus epidemic.
EU leaders held a videoconference on the evening of the 19th, focusing on rapid testing, vaccine distribution and vaccination, and the relaxation of epidemic prevention restrictions and other anti-epidemic issues. After the meeting, von der Leyen said that Europe’s experience this summer showed that it was very difficult for the epidemic to recede, and the hasty relaxation of epidemic prevention restrictions has had a very bad impact on the epidemic in summer and autumn.
“So this time [we] must control expectations,” von der Leyen said. “We will propose a gradual and coordinated approach to easing epidemic prevention restrictions. This is very important to avoid another wave of epidemics.”
Since the outbreak of the second wave of the epidemic in Europe, the number of new cases in many countries has exceeded the first wave, and restrictions such as “lockdown” have to be taken again. Now, the situation is beginning to improve in some countries, and people are looking forward to “unblocking” when Christmas and New Year come. According to the statistics of the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 11.3 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Europe and nearly 280,000 deaths.
European Council President Charles Mitchell said that Europe must learn the lessons of the first wave and cautiously relax epidemic restrictions.” It should be gradual. We all want to celebrate the year-end holiday, so let’s celebrate the New Year while staying safe.”
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander DeKro called on the European Union to formulate a unified policy on travel this winter to avoid a “third wave of Christmas epidemic”.
Michelle said that EU member states should be prepared to develop vaccination plans to ensure that everyone is not left behind, while at the same time, they should be well cleared up.