Brexit will NOT happen this year because of coronavirus pandemic, says German MP

18 April 2020, 12:50 | Updated: 18 April 2020, 13:01

By Seán Hickey

A German politician told LBC that it will be impossible to negotiate Brexit during coronavirus and that an extension will definitely happen.

Norbert Rottgen, Chair of the German Foreign Affairs Committee was on the line to Matt Frei discussing Germany's response to the coronavirus outbreak. Matt turned the conversation to a subject that has been forgotten about in the wake of coronavirus - Brexit.

Matt pointed out that the UK government have said they "won't extend the transition period" and Brexit will definitely happen at the end of 2020. Matt wanted to know the opinion of Mr Rottgen.

"It will be impossible" to carry out Brexit negotiations effectively at the moment according to the German Foreign Affairs chair. He pointed out how the UK has been severely hit by the coronavirus, leaving absolutely no time to negotiate new deals for the UK.

Mr Rottgen stated that because of the difficulties the UK will face in coping with the coronavirus crisis the government will be "forced to extend and should not make an ideology of it".

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In terms of the government's insistence that the UK will definitely be out of the EU by the end of the year, Mr Rottgen said that he doesn't believe it and thinks "they know it is not realistic".

Matt quizzed the German foreign affairs committee chair on his views of where the UK went wrong in their coronavirus response.

"It's not a time for criticism" the CDU politician insisted. He assured Matt that all countries could have taken a better response to the coronavirus pandemic and no single nation should be singled out.

"In some countries it took more time to react than in others" Mr Rottger said without singling out the UK. He claimed that countries like Germany may have gotten their response correct but they are by no means perfect in how they stopped the spread of coronavirus.