Boris Johnson is expected to reject the EU's calls for continued alignment post-Brexit in a speech this Monday and call for a Canada-style free trade agreement, threatening to walk away if one cannot be struck.
"There is no need for a free trade agreement to involve accepting EU rules on competition policy, subsidies, social protection, the environment, or anything similar, any more than the EU should be obliged to accept UK rules," he is set to say.
The UK prime minister will push for a Canada-style free trade agreement but will warn European leaders that he is content to fallback to "Australia" type terms - a move that would see Britain revert to trading on bare bones World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, but with tacked-on side deals to ensure areas such as aviation can continue to run smoothly.
Under the EU-Canada deal, import tariffs on most goods have been eliminated between the two countries, though there are still customs and VAT checks.
The flow of services, such as banking - which is much more important for the UK - between Canada and the EU are much more restricted.
In an indication of the gulf between Downing Street and Le Berlaymont chiefs, the EU argues that the UK should be treated differently to past free trade partners due to the threat it poses to the single market.
Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier insisted Britain must sacrifice its fishing waters in order to strike a trade deal with the EU. Presenting his draft negotiating mandate, Barnier put a direct link between a free-trade agreement and continued reciprocal access for European trawlermen.
He said: "Our free-trade agreement must include an agreement on fisheries. "This agreement should provide reciprocal access to markets and waters, which contains quota shares."
Brussels' draft mandate for the negotiations calls for a "level-playing field" that would require the UK to stay in line with EU environmental and labour market rules as they stand at the end of Britain's post-Brexit transition period.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has said negotiations would be "hard and fair and fast" but that the closer the UK wanted to be to the bloc, the more of its common rules it would have to abide by.