Donald tusk said Britain’s approach to the next stage of brexit seemed to be based on “pure fantasy”.
At a press conference in Brussels, the President of the European council said the UK was still trying to “pick” its future relationship with the eu.
Mr Tusk said he could only accept the press coverage of the brexit talks on Thursday in the prime minister’s national retreat.
Theresa May will deliver an important speech on Friday outlining Britain’s ambitions.
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Mr Tusk, who will meet in the afternoon the day before, said the media reported that Britain’s “cake philosophy is still alive”.
He added: “if media reports are correct, I am afraid the British position today is based on pure fantasy.”
He continued to refuse – as he had done before – any notion of the future of Britain’s “cherry picking” with the eu, or the idea of joining the “single market”.
The BBC learned that 11 senior checkers had made a breakthrough in what they called “managed differences” and that the UK could choose eu rules to stay out of the eu.
Mr Tusk said the eu would continue to be “very realistic” in the forthcoming talks.
The second phase of the brexit negotiations will cover the UK’s departure and the transition arrangements for future economic and security cooperation.
Speaking at an informal meeting of 27 European heads of state and government, Mr. Tusk said he would present a draft guidelines on future eu relations with Britain at the march summit.
“Our intention is to adopt these guidelines, whether or not the UK is ready for the vision of our future relationship,” he said.
“Nature will be much better, but we cannot stand by and watch.”
He said he hopes to see more clarity in London next week when he meets in the afternoon.
The leaders also spoke about the eu’s budget for 2020, the European parliament, Turkey and Syria.
The government will adopt a policy of putting Britain outside the eu’s customs union – but matching the eu rules in some industries to try to achieve “frictionless trade”.
Jeremy hunt, the health secretary who did not attend the high-level meeting, said that despite “differences of opinion” there was still a “central consensus”.
He said some sectors might be consistent with European regulations, adding: “but this will be voluntary and we as sovereign nations have the right to choose our differences.”