The spread of coronavirus has caused global chaos, with the fear the deadly covid-19 will be transmitted through close person-to-person contact. Some MPs have urged the Government to consider temporarily suspending Brexit proceedings in order to tackle the outbreak. Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy, former Tory Chancellor Phillip Hammond, and backbench Labour MP David Lammy have all called upon the Prime Minister to consider delaying Brexit and asking for more time.
Mr Lammy said: “The government can’t negotiate the future of Britain’s trade with the EU in a few months during what could well become a global coronavirus pandemic.
“Boris Johnson needs to swallow his pride and put the national interest first. That means agreeing an extension with the EU.”
However, thousands of Express.co.uk readers have warned the Government that Brexit must be delivered at all costs, and that nothing should derail negotiations.
Boris Johnson has been urged by Express.co.uk readers to press on with Brexit
There are concerns negotiations could be scrapped because of coronavirus fears
When asked “Should Brexit be delayed to focus on fighting the coronavirus outbreak?” 88 percent of those polled (11,427) said no.
Just 12 percent of those asked (1,205) said negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union should be postponed.
And less than one percent (47) said they were not sure.
A total of 12,711 people took part in the poll which ran between 1.45pm and 9.30pm on Tuesday, March 10.
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One Express.co.uk reader wrote: “Any calls to delay negotiations and Brexit are just another attempt to delay the inevitable.
“Just get on with it, four and a half years is more than long enough to deny democracy!”
Another said: “There is no need to delay anything.
“The negotiations will take years by the time all 27 have accepted it. If any of our politicians say we must delay they are simply Remoaners.
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One Express.co.uk told the Prime Minister to 'get your finger out!'
Mr Lammy and Mr Hammond have said Brexit should be temporarily delayed
“We have to leave before the next EU budget or we will get stung.”
And another reader said: “Are the negotiating teams infected or ill? If not business as usual.
“Coronavirus has no impact on the talks.”
Some criticised the Prime Minister for his current approach, with one person writing: “If we hadn’t dithered over the last three years, we might have been in a better position to deal with it.
“Boris, get your finger out!”
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Ms Nandy expressed her opinions on delaying Brexit in an opinion piece for The Guardian, where she described the virus as increasing “uncertainty” about the Brexit process.
She wrote: “British companies who trade with the EU do not know what terms they’ll be trading on in 10 months’ time.
“Add to this the falling demand and disruption created by coronavirus and it is reasonable to expect many businesses will not survive.”
And Mr Hammond, who was ousted from the parliamentary party under Mr Johnson’s leadership said Brexit talks would not be “immune” from the coronavirus outbreak.
Labour leadership hopeful, Lisa Nandy, also suggested Brexit could be halted temporarily
Mr Hammond told the Sunday Times: “If the virus starts to disrupt everyday life and many other processes have slowed down as a consequence.
“There is no reason to think that Brexit trade talks will be immune, then the parties will have to work together in good faith to decide how to manage that.”
Today, British cases of coronavirus reached 373 as a sixth person in the UK was reported to have died.
The sixth British victim was a man in his early 80s with underlying health conditions in Watford, the NHS has said.
GPs are now warning routine appointments may have to be stopped to prevent the virus spreading.