Express.co.uk readers can vote in our poll on which country the UK should strike a trade deal with first. Britain is set to leave the EU at the end of the month before entering an 11-month transition period with the bloc.
The Prime Minister has insisted he will not extend the Brexit transition period beyond the end of the year despite Brussels warning it would be “impossible” to get a comprehensive trade deal by then.
Mr Johnson had his first face-to-face meeting with the new European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in Downing Street on Wednesday.
Ahead of the discussions, Mrs von der Leyen had made it clear that if the deadline was not flexible it would become a matter of prioritising certain areas for agreement.
Following the meeting at Number 10, Downing Street described the talks as “positive”.
A spokesman said: “The Prime Minister reiterated that we wanted a broad free trade agreement covering goods and services, and co-operation in other areas.
“The Prime Minister was clear that the UK would not extend the implementation period beyond December 31 2020.
“He said the UK wanted a positive new UK and EU partnership, based on friendly co-operation, our shared history, interests and values.”
She said they would need to “prioritise” those areas where there were no international agreements to fall back on to avoid a damaging “hard Brexit”.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s deputy premier Simon Coveney insisted the EU would not be rushed in post-Brexit negotiations.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “When people talk about the future relationship, in the UK in particular, they seem to only talk about a future trade agreement, actually there’s much more to this than that – there’s fishing, there’s aviation, there’s data and so many other things.
“I know that Prime Minister Johnson has set a very ambitious timetable to get this done.
“He has even put it into British law, but just because a British parliament decides that British laws say something doesn’t mean that that law applies to the other 27 countries of the European Union and so the European Union will approach this on the basis of getting the best deal possible – a fair and balanced deal to ensure the EU and the UK can interact as friends in the future.
“But the EU will not be rushed on this just because Britain passes law.”