DUP leader Arlene Foster has said that alleged comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Northern Ireland must remain in the Customs Union for any Brexit deal to be reached reveal "the real objective of Dublin and the European Union".

Ms Foster was speaking after sources claimed that following a call earlier between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ms Merkel a Brexit deal was now "essentially impossible". 

Ms Foster said no UK government would ever concede leaving part of its sovereign territory in a foreign organisation that it is not part of.

She said: "For the United Kingdom to be asked to leave a part of its sovereign territory in a foreign organisation of which the UK would no longer be a part and over which we would have no say whatsoever is beyond crazy. No UK government could ever concede such a surrender.

"The EU is not interested in a negotiated outcome at this time. Their position is the UK can only leave with a deal if it agrees a binding piece of international law permanently tying either the whole country or a part of it to the EU's legal order over which it has no control.

"The true purpose of the 'backstop' is now in the open for an to see. Those who eagerly supported the backstop as the best of both worlds can now see the error of that assessment. It was neither temporary nor an insurance policy.

"It appears that Martin Selmayr's remarks about Northern Ireland being the price of Brexit is still the EU negotiating stance.

"The Prime Minister's proposals have flushed out Dublin's real intentions to trap Northern Ireland in the EU Customs Union forever, where Dublin rather than the United Kingdom's elected representatives would be in the driving seat.

"We will not accept any such ultimatum or outcome."

A German government spokesman said they never comment on private conversation. 

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Earlier, DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds said a Brexit deal was unlikely to be achieved by an informal deadline of Friday.

When asked if a deal could be achieved by Friday, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds told Bloomberg Television: "It looks difficult at the moment - I am very, very sad about that.

"What it does flush out is that the original backstop proposals were clearly something that certain Dublin politicians particularly in the government really felt was the end destination," Mr Dodds said.

He said Ireland was turning peace process agreements upside down by dismissing the Northern Irish consent idea of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit proposal.

"Dublin is now it seems turning the Good Friday Agreement, the Belfast Agreement, the St Andrews Agreement - all the agreements that we made in the last 20 years as part of the political process - on its head," Mr Dodds said.