The outbreak of COVID-19 is serious and my ministerial colleagues are doing everything they can to tackle the virus based on the latest scientific and medical advice. The latest round of negotiations took place via video conference at the end of April and further rounds will take place in the weeks commencing 11 May and 1 June.
I appreciate that people have concerns about the 31st December deadline but ministers have already shown that they are able to negotiate international agreements with speed and efficiency. The Withdrawal Agreement was re-opened and re-negotiated in under three months despite many believing that this would be not be possible. A high-level summit will take place in June where both sides intend to take stock of progress.
The UK and the EU share closely aligned interests and I am confident that the determination and willingness of the Parties to reach a free trade agreement will ensure that the matter is brought to a conclusion by the end of 2020 as legally committed to in good faith by both parties as part of the transition period.