THE European Union will today publish its draft guidelines for a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK.

It comes as reports suggest they will be deliberately vague in a bid to force Theresa May to spell out more detail about her plans.

Senior figures on the continent dismissed the Prime Minister’s wish list, set out in her speech on Friday, as “vague aspirations” and accused her of “burying her head in the sand”.

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Reports yesterday said that the EU document is not expected to present detailed proposals, in a move to put pressure on May to shift her position to back single market and customs union membership.

“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,” an EU diplomat involved in drafting the position of the 27 member states told a newspaper.

During her speech at the Mansion House in London on Friday, May spelled out her intentions for the UK to stick close to EU standards, mirror Brussels state-aid and competition rules, embrace some EU agencies and accept that European court rulings would still affect the UK.

But the dominant view in Brussels, was that she was still seeking the benefits of the single market without accepting the obligations to accept EU law, jurisdiction of the European court of justice and the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour. There was also criticism that she had failed to offer new details on how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland without single market and customs union membership.

The EU is also expected to link access to UK waters for its fishing fleet to British seafood exporters having tariff-free access to the European market.

On a trip to see Danish fisherman in Jutland on Saturday, Michel Barnier warned the British fishing industry could lose access to the European market if EU fishermen lost access to UK fishing waters. The two things “are clearly linked”, the EU’s chief negotiator said, adding: “Our access to British waters and the British access to our market.”

Meanwhile, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday ruled out formal three-way talks between the UK, Ireland and the EU about Brexit – raised as a possibility by May on Sunday.

“There won’t be tripartite or three-way talks,” he said.

“What will happen is that there will be talks between the EU27, and the UK and Ireland is part of the EU27, and we’re much stronger, by the way, as one of 27.”

The Taoiseach said there will be consultations between the Irish and UK governments about issues that are unique to Ireland.

“We will, of course, have negotiations about what could be done to avoid a hard border but what we won’t be getting into is a negotiation with the UK, or a three-way negotiation,” Varadkar said.

“That’s not in our interest and not the way that this can be concluded.”

The Taoiseach told RTE’s Morning Ireland programme that he gave May’s speech about Brexit on Friday a guarded welcome but detail was now needed from the UK Government.

“What we want is not so much principles and aspirations and red lines,” Varadkar said. “What we want is detail, written down in black and white that can be codified into law and that is what is required.”