Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan has said the Government should engage in tactical negotiations with the UK to reach a better Brexit deal for Ireland.

At his party's national conference in Waterford, Mr Ryan said Ireland should try to reach agreement with the UK on environmental standards, workers rights, and energy cooperation.

He said there is nothing in the European treaties to prevent Ireland from doing that.

After a spell in government, the Greens suffered a wipe out in 2011 losing all six seats in the Dáil.

But last year saw the beginnings of a recovery with the election of two TDs and a Senator.

The party is meeting in Waterford to reassess its role and look to the future and part of that future involves being in a Europe without the UK.

Mr Ryan urged the Government not to approach the Brexit talks in "fight mode".

He told delegates that it would suit the hard Brexit Tories to crash out of the talks.

But this would be bad for Ireland, particularly for Irish agriculture, he said.

He said Ireland should play 'good cop' to the European Commission's 'bad cop' during the talks.