Brussels to pile pressure on Theresa May with draft post-Brexit trade deal guidelines

Posted On: 
5th March 2018

The European Union is expected to pile fresh pressure on Theresa May with its draft guidelines on post-Brexit trade in a bid to push her to decide what Britain wants.

The EU is set to release its post-Brexit draft trade guidelines on Tuesday
Credit: 
PA Images

The bloc is set to publish its proposals on Tuesday but they are expected to be light on detail as a result of limited talks among member states and in the hope it will force the Prime Minister to move Britain’s position forward.

They will also reportedly reject many of the positions the Prime Minister set out on Friday at a major speech in Mansion House. 

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An EU diplomat involved in the process told the Guardian: “They will say explicitly or implicitly that the guidelines have to be short and general.

“If the UK position develops then we will be able to develop our response.”

In response to the pledge made by Mrs May for some continued alignment on regulations with the EU, one diplomat added: “It is good to hear that the UK wants to stay in regulatory alignment but that doesn’t really solve any problems.”

“It doesn’t take us over the line. We are ships passing each other in the night. We are not connecting.”

Meanwhile the Telegraph says the guidelines will call for a “Canada-style” trade deal as the only option possible amid the UK’s stated red lines.

The proposal would likely be dismissed by the Prime Minister however, after she used Friday’s speech to say such a deal was not good enough given the extent of the EU-UK trading ties.

An EU source told the paper: “The message will be ‘this is what is feasible given the UK’s stated red lines’, but should those evolve, so would the available options.”

The paper says the short series of proposals will be circulated internally among EU member states today and tomorrow ahead of talks.

And they add that the detail on customs and services will be “very short” while there may be no mention at all of financial services.

Elsewhere, the Guardian says the demand for mutual recognition of regulatory frameworks and membership of some EU agencies will be dismissed if Britain remains outside the single market.

And the bloc could tie access to UK waters for its fishermen to tariff-free access for British seafood exporters.