"He confirmed the UK’s commitment to exploring every avenue to reach an agreement. He underlined that a deal was better for both sides, but also that the UK was prepared to end the transition period on Australia-style terms if an agreement could not be found," the prime minister's office said in a statement.
Johnson, who has set 15 October as the dateline to reach a trade deal with the European block, also told Macron that progress must be made in the coming days to bridge the significant gaps in the areas of fisheries and the level playing field, according to the readout of the phone conversation.
Fishing quotas, the so-called level playing field — the set of common rules and standards designed to prevent businesses in one country from undercutting their rivals in other countries — and governance have become the sticking points in the post-Brexit negotiations.
The UK prime minister and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had instructed their chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier, respectively, on 3 October, "to work intensively" to try to bridge gaps preventing both sides from reaching a post-Brexit trade agreement.
The UK left the EU in January but remains under the current EU trade terms. However, if no trade deal is secured before the transition period expires on 31 December, the World Trade Organisation's rules for both parties will come into effect starting 2021, including customs tariffs and full border checks for UK goods entering the EU.