THE IRISH GOVERNMENT has hit back at claims from Downing Street that it had sabotaged a potential Brexit deal.
Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday that his administration was working "flat out" for a deal, despite accusations from the UK government that they had virtually sabotaged any chance of a compromise between the two nations.
Describing the reports of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar being totally inflexible over the backstop as "misinformation," Coveney said at a press conference in Dublin: "No country wants a deal more than Ireland but we will not strike a deal at any cost."
He added that there were "conflicting reports" coming from London, and while he refused to name-drop any politicians, he said that Ireland were being "pressured" by the UK into accepting a less-than-adequate deal.
Coveney also said that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's recent Brexit proposal was a "step forward" in the negotiation process, despite the awful press surrounding it, and insisted that both countries need to work tirelessly to find a solution.
"There is an ongoing conversation in Brussels and we want to contribute to that in a constructive way ... the taoiseach wants to find a compromise that works. But he is not willing to be boxed into a corner," he said.
This comes directly after a No 10 source was revealed on Tuesday to have accused the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, of making a deal impossible. Brussels responded by accusing Johnson of trying to play a "stupid blame game".