The foreign minister was forced to self-isolate at an important diplomatic moment for the country.
Dominic Raab, Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, is self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.
The news was announced by a spokesman for the foreign minister and means he will have to work in isolation for 14 days.
It comes after the European Union warned the UK government had to reach a post-Brexit trade deal by the middle of this month – and as the US election result remains unclear.
“The foreign minister was informed today that a person he was in close contact with recently tested positive for coronavirus,” the spokesman said.
“In accordance with state regulations and the NHS Track & Trace rules, the Secretary of State took immediate steps to self-isolate for the required amount of time. He will continue to work remotely during this time. “
The person’s identity was not disclosed.
After the US elections, which have not yet been decided tonight, Thursday 5 November at 7.45 p.m., it is diplomatically difficult for Britain.
The government has been asked to criticize the president’s behavior after calling for the vote to be stopped – something Raab circumvented.
In addition, Britain is under pressure to improve relations with Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger.
Raab has refused to criticize the Republican leader for claiming there was a “fraud against the American nation” and said he was using the US Supreme Court to stop the vote count.
After election night, Mr. Raab said that “we have to be patient” and wait for the result of the election.
And he insisted, “we have every confidence in the control and balance of the US system to get a result”.
He said he would not be “drawn into” the debate over Trump’s actions, which have been widely criticized as a threat to democracy itself.
It’s not clear tonight what effect Raab’s isolation will have on his workload or who will stand up for him in the House of Commons.
But it is a busy time for the government’s international relations.
Raab said on his Twitter account today that Britain and Mexico are holding talks to develop trade ties and tackle climate change.
In addition, a post-Brexit agreement is being worked on with the European Union, where time is running out.
Yesterday, Michel Barnier said the European Union and the UK still have “very big differences” as efforts to reach a post-Brexit trade deal continue.
The EU negotiator said the main stumbling blocks were the “level playing field” aimed at preventing unfair competition in areas such as government subsidies, fisheries policy and the governance of an agreement.
Government representative Lord Frost said that progress had been made over two weeks of intensive talks, but that “there are still major disparities on some key issues”.
“We continue to work to find solutions that fully respect the sovereignty of Great Britain,” he said.
While there has been no breakthrough, the two sides are expected to stay in touch through videoconferencing and have further talks in London next week.
The EU believes that an agreement must be reached by mid-November.
They say this is so that it can be ratified when the UK leaves the single market and customs union when the post-Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.