Four of Stormont's political parties - Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance and the Green party - have reiterated that Northern Ireland should stay in the EU's single market and customs union. 

The four parties won 49 of the 90 Stormont seats in last year's Assembly elections.

In a statement, the parties say that there should be no hard border on the island of Ireland, or between the two islands of Ireland and Britain.

Even though they differ in many policy areas, on Brexit the four parties have the same line in wanting Northern Ireland to remain within the customs union and the single market.

The timing of their agreed statement is significant as the British government is currently working up a policy paper that will set out its position on sensitive issues, including proposed customs arrangements and the UK's future trade relationships with the EU. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May's hope is she will have cabinet agreement on the contentious policy matters in advance of the June summit of EU leaders.

New research, meanwhile, carried out by Queen's University Belfast suggests a majority of people in Northern Ireland want the UK to remain in the EU's single market and customs union. 

The survey also indicates that support for Northern Ireland staying in the EU has increased to 69%, which is up from 56% at referendum time two years ago.