The UK has formally left the EU on January 31, 2020. However, Britain remains in a transition period, retaining most rights and obligations throughout the transition period which expires at the end of the year.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out extending the implementation phase despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to request for such a prolongation passed on June 30. Without an accord, Britain will shift to World Trade Organization rules
in 2021, an outcome seen as unfavorable for both sides, and especially the UK.
Several rounds of face-to-face and online talks have failed to yield substantial progress, with London and Brussels unable to reach a "landing zone" on fisheries, regulation, and a "level-playing field" – the EU's demand that the UK follows
its rules in return for easy market access. Several political analysts expect to see progress only close to year-end.