Although Britain technically left the EU on Jan 31, its relationship with the EU remains the same in practice until the end of the transition period, Dec 31, 2020.
As it stands, the Government does not have a deal.
After a weekend of negotiations, Ursula von der Leyen, the EU chief, announced on December 13, that talks with the Prime Minister would continue, despite the deadline which was set for that Sunday.
Mrs Leyen stressed that both she and Mr Johnson felt it would be responsible at this point in time to “go the extra mile” despite the “exhaustion” and missed deadlines.
Furthermore, after a day of negotiation with the President of the European Commission on December 13, Mr Johnson also added: “Let’s see what we can achieve. But in the meantime, get ready, with confidence, for January 1 – trade on WTO terms if we have to.”
Mr Johnson’s attempts to negotiate directly with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have been rebuffed three times in a week, prompting him to warn a no-deal outcome to Brexit talks is now “very, very likely”.
Although trade talks entered their final day of negotiations today, December 13, it has since been confirmed that talks will continue in Brussels following a “constructive and useful” phone call between Mr Johnson and Mrs Leyen.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, had already predicted the negotiations would go beyond the December 13 deadline. Speaking to BBC News, he shared that the decision to extend the talks was already on the table, even before the deadline had passed.
On Dec 9, the Prime Minister failed to bridge “very large gaps” during a three-hour meeting with the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels.
Mr Johnson said he did not want to “leave any route to a possible deal untested” but was downbeat about the chances of an agreement.
This comes before soruces from the EU suggested they will impose “lightning tariffs” on Great Britain, if the UK breaches the terms of a deal. This is, supposedly, one of the most significant obstacles in preventing a trade agreement.