Express.co.uk readers have urged Boris Johnson to continue post-Brexit trade talks with the EU despite the coronavirus pandemic, a poll has revealed. The survey, carried out from 10am-10pm on Wednesday March 18, asked: “Do you agree with trade talks being cancelled due to coronavirus?” 8,835 people responded, with the vast majority, 86 percent (7,522) said “no”.
14 percent (1,234 people) responded “yes” and thought the post-Brexit talks should be called off.
Less than one percent (79 people) responded “don’t know”.
It comes as British and EU officials agreed to postpone talks that were due to take place in London today.
Express.co.uk readers urged the Prime Minister to stick to the agreed deadline, and suggested the talks could be held via video link.
One person said: “The UK voted to leave the EU in 2016. Since then both the UK Government and the EU have been in negotiations without any success.
“We officially left the EU in January this year and have continued talking with the EU about a continued free trade deal, still without success.
“We have wasted enough time and billions of taxpayers money on these negotiations already.
“Using the coronavirus as an excuse to delay talks is not necessary there are other ways to continue talks including video links.”
JUST IN: Sturgeon’s independence dream HALTED: Coronavirus postpones SNP plans
Another person wrote: “The coronavirus is serious, and we need to do everything humanely possible to manage the situation. However, life still goes on regardless of the epidemic.
“The EU would be clapping their hands if we delay the transition, meaning that we’re still obliged to pay into the EU. It would certainly help them with their deficit.
“We need to pursue the path we’re already on, as the epidemic will (hopefully) fade before the end of the year and a level of normality resumes.”
A third person said: “Have they not heard of video conference calling? Boris must not let us down!”
Laura Kuenssberg admitted Brexit ‘changed career forever’ [COMMENT]
EU told to axe Brexit transition as UK sparks anger over coronavirus [INSIGHT]
British fishermen devastated in fear Brexit trade deal will be stalled [DEVELOPED]
Another user agreed the talks could be held remotely, and wrote: “What happened to working from home?
“In today’s technology you can converse without being in the same room.
“I hope no money is being exchanged because of the delay, I’ll be livid.”
But a UK Government spokesman has insisted the December 31 transition period deadline would not be extended, highlighting that it was “enshrined in law”.
The spokesman said: “In light of the latest guidance on coronavirus, we will not formally be convening negotiating work strands tomorrow in the way we did in the previous round.
“We expect to share a draft FTA alongside the draft legal texts of a number of the standalone agreements in the near future still, as planned.
“Both sides remain fully committed to the negotiations and we remain in regular contact with the European Commission to consider alternative ways to continue discussions, including looking at the possibility of video conferencing or conference calls, and exploring flexibility in the structure for the coming weeks.
“The transition period ends on December 31, 2020. This is enshrined in UK law.”
Source: Read Full Article