TORY ministers are expected by Brussels to allow Northern Ireland to remain in the single market, according to reports.

The Guardian revealed that EU negotiators are expecting their British counterparts to agree to a draft withdrawal agreement that will stipulate that Northern Ireland will remain in the customs union and single market after Brexit to avoid a hard border.

Nicola Sturgeon took to Twitter to say that if Northern Ireland stayed in the single market after then Scotland would be left at a disadvantage unless it was as well.

“If NI stays in single market, the case for Scotland also doing so is not just an academic ‘us too’ argument - it becomes a practical necessity. Otherwise we will be at a massive relative disadvantage when it comes to attracting jobs and investment.

Speaking this morning at the end of a week long technical talks, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator said the UK leaving the single market and customs union would make Irish border checks "unavoidable".

He also warned that there were still substantial disagreements between the two sides, and that if those were not sorted, then transition may not happen.

"If these disagreements persist the transition is not a given," he said.

He added: "You have to bear in mind what the United Kingdom has said, I have some problems understanding the UK position."

The EU has long said that the UK will have to effectively choose between the single market and a hard border in Northern Ireland. But Tory minister have insisted an alternative is possible If the reports are correct then London has admitted that an alternative is not possible.

Though a Downing Street spokesman insisted the UK would not be staying in the customs union or single market.

Theresa May will face difficulties from her own backbenches and her own cabinet if she agrees to this.

The Eurosceptic Tories and the ten Democratic Unionist party MP, who the Prime Minister relies on for a majority, are strongly opposed to a different set of circumstances for Northern Ireland.

But in Northern Ireland, there are fears putting up a hard border could be a threat to the peace process.

Earlier this week, George Hamilton, chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, warned that a border, with customs points and check would become a target for armed groups.

“The terrorists only have to be lucky once and get a result with catastrophic consequences,” he said.