The UK has until the end of 2020 to secure a trade deal with Europe before the Brexit transition period ends. Transition has preserved many of the structures of EU membership for the UK since we left the EU in January, but it cannot be extended past 31st December.
Failing to secure a proper trade deal with our biggest trading partners means we would simply have no trade deal with any European Union country. That would cause huge disruption to British imports and exports and higher prices for British people as new customs checks, red tape, tariffs and customs duties would be imposed.
The timeline to ratify a trade deal
We can't wait till December
The reality is that while negotiations are still going on, the time we have left gets shorter and shorter. A deal needs to be agreed in time for the European Parliament, EU Commission, EU member states and the UK's own systems to scrutinise and approve whatever the negotiators agree.
We worked out the timeline for approving the trade deal. See for yourself how much time we have left.