The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said we was “surprised and disappointed” to find that an agreement reached between Britain and the EU earlier today had fallen through.
The UK and Ireland had agreed to a text this morning, which agreed there would be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
However he was then contacted by Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, who said British Prime Minister Theresa May needed “more time” to consider the arrangement.
Mr Varadkar told a press conference: “I am surprised and disappointed that the British government now does not appear to be in a position to confirm what was agreed earlier today.
“My position and the position of the Irish government is unequivocal – there will be no hard border in Ireland under any circumstances.”
Mr Varadkar told reporters he had received cabinet approval and ran the agreement by the opposition before the British Government claimed it needed more time.
He said: “Ireland wants to proceed to stage two. It is very much in our interest to do so. However we cannot do this without a cast-iron guarantee that there will not be a hard border.”
However he added: “We are happy to allow the Prime Minister more time if that’s what is needed.”