"A lot happened last year, but today there is even more at stake than it was a year ago. The coronavirus pandemic has made negotiations even more difficult, from any point of view. But it has made the agreement even more urgent," Maas said after a meeting with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.
According to the top German diplomat, the EU is negotiating post-Brexit terms with a strong will to reach a deal, with Barnier's help.
The European community advocates "a close and ambitious partnership with the UK, which remains our goal," Maas noted.
As for the COVID-19 epidemic, in March, the EU nations closed borders with each other to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within Europe's visa-free Schengen area. It led to the collapse of travel traffic and deepened the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.