Then this morning a source reported that PM May's office dismissed Telegraph reports of remaining in the customs union beyond 2021.

The story was reported after peers finally gave the EU withdrawal bill a third reading, but not before inflicting a 15th defeat on the government.

The future of the bill is now uncertain as the government tries to estimate the risk of irreversible defeats in the Commons.

If the UK were to stay inside the customs union for longer this problem would be void and a massive headache would disappear overnight while more discussions could take place.

A soft Brexit with the UK staying in the customs union would clearly do the pro Brexit voters a disservice as the UK would still have to pay for access and any backlash would further discredit the prime minister.

Categories: ZH