Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said more clarity is needed on the topic of the Irish border before Brexit talks can move to the next stage.

Mr Coveney said the message the Government will be giving is that while they want to move on to stage two, there are "very serious issues in phase one" that have to teased out first.

He said: "Yes we all want to move onto phase two of the Brexit negotiations but we are not in a place right now that allows us to do that. We have very serious issues, particularly around the border, that need more clarity.

"This is a very fundamental change in the relationship between Ireland and Britain, and between Britain and the EU. It is going to require a significant adjustment."

Mr Coveney said in the absence of credible roadmap to ensure there is no hard border there is "a sense of jumping into the dark".

"We understand the aspirations for where everybody wants to go, but we don't have the clarity, certainty or credibility that helps us to believe we can get that done".

However, Britain's Foreign Secretary has said it is necessary to move onto the second stage of Brexit talks in order to answer questions on the border.

The two men were speaking at a press conference in Dublin.

Responding to reporters, Boris Johnson said everyone recognises the "unique circumstances of the border with Northern Ireland and nobody wants to see a hard border.

"We have got to work together, and in order to resolve those issues and get it right for our people it is  necessary now to move on to the second stage of the negotiations which entail so many of those questions."

He also said while he understands that everyone wants the maximum possible reassurance, he thinks it is possible to do that in a shorter timescale and get on with it as fast as possible.

Mr Coveney said it is possible to put a framework agreement in place in terms of what the future relationship with Britain might look like but will take a number of years to finalise the details of that.

He said this would take closer to four or five years in his view.

Mr Johnson added the partnership between Ireland and the UK is "so deep and important".

He said that he will be speaking to Mr Coveney "a little bit about Brexit", but also about what the UK and Ireland can do together, particularly in Africa and the Middle East.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also met Mr Johnson this morning.

Mr Martin said that the time has come for practical details around the border and not just rhetoric.

The meeting came as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Theresa May meet on the sidelines of a summit of EU leaders in Gothenburg.

It is Mr Johnson's first visit to Dublin since he was appointed Foreign Secretary in July of last year.

In a speech to business leaders last night, Mr Coveney said these are not the easiest times for Ireland-UK relations, after what he described as the "crushing disappointment" of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Meanwhile, the Chair of Westminster's Exiting the European Union select committee has said the British government has not been able to show that it can "square the circle" between leaving the single market and customs union without having a hard border.

Hilary Benn was speaking on RTÉ's News at One at the end of a week when Theresa May's government has been trying to get the European Union Withdrawal Bill through parliament.

Mr Benn said UK ministers have not been able to demonstrate how electronic means or technical measures will work as alternatives to a hard border in Ireland.

He said proof that such mechanisms can work, will be essential to the UK's progression to phase two of Brexit negotiations.