The Minister for Foreign Affairs has said there will not be a complete solution as to what happens the Irish border by the time of the next EU summit in three weeks time.
Simon Coveney said though he hopes for more clarity around the parameters within which a solution will be finalised, if and when it is decided to move onto the next phase of the Brexit talks.
Speaking before the Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, he said we needed a lot more clarity that recognises the uniqueness and vulnerability of Northern Ireland and of the island of Ireland as a result of the UK's exit from the European Union.
"I am hopeful this can be reached in December, but it is by no means pre-determined... We need a lot more clarity," Mr Coveney said.
Before it can sign off on the first phase of talks, the Government wants Britain to spell out in writing how I tintends to make good on its commitment that the border will remain seamless post-Brexit.
The Government has said this can be best achieved if London commits, on behalf of Northern Ireland, that there would be no regulatory divergence both sides of the border.
Mr Coveney said that includes all areas from agriculture to state aid rules.
"We have been very clear in terms of what we're asking for, that hasn't changed for months. What has changed, perhaps, is the expectation that Ireland, maybe when we came under a bit of pressure, that we might back off or accept that this would be deferred into phase two," Mr Coveney said.
"Some people seem to be surprised that that's not happening, maybe they weren't listening when we told them the first time, or the second time or the tenth time but I think people are listening now," he said.
Meanwhile speaking to reporters in Paris, Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee said the Government would continue to resist the idea expressed by some British ministers that talks need to move onto the trade phase before the border issue can be resolved.
"They are asking us to take a leap in the dark and we are not going to take a leap in the dark. We need something more concrete," Ms McEntee said.