Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has warned that the UK cannot afford to leave the EU without a deal. Speaking to the Today Program Mr Coveney described talk of the UK crashing out of the EU as bravado.
The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 but has yet to agree how its final relationship with the bloc will work. The White Paper on the UK's future relationship with the EU was published earlier this month.
Mr Coveney said the negative implications of a no deal Brexit are very significant for Ireland and for the UK.
I don't believe Britain crashing out of the EU without any agreed process is likely to happen.
There is an obligation on me, and others, to instill some positivity into this negotiation process rather than political standoffs which is what we've seen to date.
Ireland's deputy prime minister said his government would back moves to lengthen the negotiating period by extending Article 50 if the UK government requested it, adding the deadline would only be extended if it was necessary to get a sensible agreement.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK was well positioned to get a good deal, and that he did not believe that there was a legal basis to delay Britain leaving the European Union.
Welcoming the publication of the White Paper, Mr. Coveney said it gives the negotiating teams a degree of clarity.
For much of the last six months effectively Britain has been negotiating with itself on Brexit.
Now at least we have a White Paper where there's a clear British government position and the negotiation between the EU and the UK really starts now in earnest, he added.