Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney has said that the promises made to the British over Brexit are “undeliverable.”
Coveney, who met with Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis last week, said politicians "need to be honest" about the UK’s departure from the EU.
He said that Ireland is hoping for “as close to the status quo as possible” after Brexit, but warned that forging a new relationship between the two countries is “proving much more complicated and much more difficult than people had anticipated,” reports Sky News.
Coveney said: "What has been promised to the British people in terms of what Brexit offers and the opportunities of it, in the context of also trying to hold on to the benefits of the relationship that Britain has with the EU, I don't think is deliverable.
"This is such a difficult political challenge and that's why we have to be mature, flexible and pragmatic about how we find solutions.
"But I think we also need to be honest with people.
"It is not in my view possible for Britain on the one hand to be negotiating free trade arrangements with countries on a bilateral basis all over the world and at the same time to expect barrier-free trade into the single market of the EU, which is the most open single market in history."
Ireland, he said, is "more exposed, more vulnerable to a bad deal on Brexit than any other country in the EU,” and pointed to "real and measurable challenges" on UK-Irish trade and the Northern Ireland peace process.
Coveney, who also met with Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said that during the second phase of negotiation talks, as Britain looks to the future, Ireland would be “Britain’s closest friend in the Brussels negotiating room.
"The outcome that we want is one that I think Britain also wants,” he said.
Following the talks in London, Brexit Secretary David Davis said he believed a Brexit deal would protect the Good Friday Agreement.
"We both recognize the importance of finding flexible and imaginative solutions to the issues we face, and I am determined to build on the genuine progress we have made so far when negotiations with the EU begin again next week," he said.