David Davis has hit out at critics of leaked proposals to solve the Irish border question, stressing that the UK's borders will remain intact and clarifying what is meant by regulatory alignment.
Davis told MPs he was still confident a deal could be concluded before the end of this week – although 24 hours ago he had gone on record saying a deal could be done yesterday afternoon.
The Brexit secretary insisted the suggestion that "leaving one part" of the country in the customs union is "emphatically not something the UK government is considering".
He was repeatedly petitioned by pro-Remain MPs on both sides of the house that one solution would be for the whole of the UK to stay in the Single Market and customs union, with Tory MP Anna Soubry and Labour colleague Hilary Benn among those to back the idea.
But despite this, the minister stressed that was not an option, noting that Labour had also rejected the idea. In response to a question from Yvette Cooper, Davis clarified that regulatory alignment referred to areas such as safety and food standards.
"Mutual recognition and alignment of standards that does not mean the same standards but one that gives similar results," he said.
Davis later added that regulatory alignment was possible from outside the Single Market and customs union.
Yesterday, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones and London mayor Sadiq Khan piled into the leaked proposals, arguing that Northern Ireland should not be a special case in what they claim amounted to continued membership of the Single Market. That argument was echoed this morning by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.
More to follow…