The EU has rejected Theresa May’s vision for post-Brexit trade relationship with the UK, laying out its own plans and warning that her choices will have “negative economic consequences” for Britain.

In draft negotiating guidelines unveiled on Wednesday, the bloc rules out the “mutual recognition” of standards between the UK and EU as proposed by the Prime Minister.

The six-page document, which will instruct EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier on how to deal with the UK in the next phase of talks, also rules out British membership of EU regulators such as the European Medicines Agency after Brexit – directly rebuffing the Prime Minister.

The guidelines say: “The European Council has to take into account the repeatedly stated positions of the UK, which limit the depth of such a future partnership. Being outside the customs union and the single market will inevitably lead to frictions.

“Divergence in external tariffs and internal rules as well as absence of common institutions and a shared legal system, necessitates checks and controls to uphold the integrity of the EU Single Market as well as of the UK market. This unfortunately will have negative economic consequences.”

The guidelines are subject to approval by the EU27 at the March summit of the European Council, but previous similar guidelines have been approved in literally minutes with very little discussion by member states, in a show of EU unity. 

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