Brexit Bulletin, 13-16 March 2020

Mar 13, 2020

Following the launch of their respective negotiation mandates, the first round of negotiations between the EU and the UK took place from 2-5 March 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. Given the latest COVID-19 developments, the EU and UK have jointly decided not to hold the second round of negotiations in its original form, which were scheduled to take place in London from 18-20 March 2020.

The first round of negotiations between the EU and UK took place from 2-5 March in Brussels. In addition to the opening and closing sessions, and a series of bilateral meetings between the Chief Negotiators of both sides, specific negotiating sessions were held on the following topics:

  1. Trade in goods
  2. Trade in services
  3. Investment and other issues
  4. Level playing field for open and fair competition
  5. Transport
  6. Energy and civil nuclear cooperation
  7. Fisheries
  8. Mobility and social security coordination
  9. Law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters
  10. Thematic cooperation
  11. Participation in European Union programmes
  12. Horizontal arrangements and governance


In his closing remarks as Chief Negotiator for the European Commission, Michel Barnier described the common challenges faced by the EU and the UK in collaborating as two separate entities:

  • to agree, together, on ground rules that make it possible for us to cooperate: to trade and to travel; and
  • to agree, together, to maintain coherent and comparable high standards over time, that protect our citizens, our consumers, our workers, and our planet.


The second round of negotiations between the EU and UK was scheduled to take place from 18-20 March 2020. Given the latest COVID-19 developments, EU and UK negotiators have jointly decided not to hold this week's round of negotiations in London, in the form originally scheduled. Both sides are currently exploring alternative ways to continue discussions, including, if possible, the use of video conferences.

You can find a guide to the ongoing negotiations on the European Commission’s dedicated website.