By Jo Swinson

Number 10 hinted earlier today that Northern Ireland could stay in the customs union to prevent the return of a hard border, saying the issue would be a matter for the negotiations.

However, Downing Street then backtracked around forty minutes later, saying the government’s policy has not changed and the UK will leave the single market and customs union.

It comes as Theresa May attends a crucial meeting in Brussels with EU Council President Donald Tusk.

Theresa May’s Brexit plans have descended into utter chaos on the same day she’s trying to secure a breakthrough in negotiations with the EU.

The simplest way to solve the issue of the Northern Ireland border would be for the UK to stay in the single market and customs union in the long term.

Ministers must change course and stop recklessly ruling this out as an option