EU negotiators have claimed that Northern Ireland will remain in the single market and customs union after Brexit.

Brussels officials are pushing to keep Belfast inside the trading area in order to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

According to a draft Brexit agreement seen by the Guardian, Theresa May’s government is expected to approve the EU’s terms.

Senior Lecturer in International Relations at King’s College London, Dr Ramon Pacheco Pardo, told City News: “I believe that the only scenario in which the UK will accept this is if the whole UK stays in the single market or the customs union.”

The language used in the draft will probably cause trouble between Theresa May and the DUP.

Leader Arlene Foster has previously said that the UK and Northern Ireland will leave the European Union under the same terms.

In a paper published on 8 February, the EU revealed plans to restrict the UK’s access to the single market, and that disputes during the transition period could even result in sanctions against the UK.

Brexit Secretary David Davis claimed this was “not in good faith”.

Dr Pacheco Pardo believes that the EU is trying to show how serious they are about their demands.

He explained: “The European Union wants to show that they have the upper hand. They want to send a very strong message to the UK.”

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