The European Union’s chief negotiator has told member states that it will be difficult to make a breakthrough in negotiations with Britain as talks enter their end game.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said it would be a “significant failure” if no Brexit deal was agreed.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the prospects for a deal were gloomy.
“Having heard from Michel Barnier this morning really the news is very downbeat. I would say he was very gloomy and very cautious about the ability to make progress today,” he said.
“Unfortunately I’d like to be giving more positive news but at the moment these negotiations seem stalled. The barriers to progress are still very much in place.”
These talks between the EU and the UK are crucial over the next few weeks as Britain is set to leave the EU in January.