Tánaiste Simon Coveney has warned that a leadership challenge in the Conservative Party will have little impact on the Brexit impasse.

Against the backdrop of growing speculation in Westminster that Theresa May could be forced out of office in the coming weeks, Mr Coveney said a Tory leadership challenge would change little.

Speaking in Brussels the Minister Coveney said: "The issues don't change and the arithmetic in Westminster won't change. For us this isn't about personalities, it's about the facts and complexities of Brexit.

"The UK needs to make its mind up now as to how it approaches the Brexit process, but I think changing personalities doesn't change very much, because the issue are still as complex as they always have been."

Describing the UK as a "desperately divided country" Mr Coveney said there were "purists" within Westminster who did not want to compromise on Brexit.

He said both Conservative and Labour negotiators were trying to find a middle ground that could bring the country together and command a majority in the House of Commons.

He contrasted the divisions in London with the agreed approach on Brexit between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in Ireland.

"The opposite has happened in the UK. The two main parties left it very late in the process to talk to each other. They are now, though, and we want that process to result in some certainty."

Without any agreement, he said it was "anybody's guess" as to where the Brexit process goes.

"This is about trying to find a way forward that everyone can live with. It's in Ireland's interests for Britain to be happy, and to be more united than they are now on the Brexit question.

"But we have issues we have advocated for for three years now. The EU's position is very clear and the Irish issue is very clear.

"What we have in the Withdrawal Agreement is an accommodation of both [sets of] concerns to the greatest extent possible, and of course the EU is still open to a changed text to the Political Declaration on the Future Relationship to try to accommodate further the UK if they ask for that, so long as the EU position is also accommodated."