Tanáiste Simon Coveney has told the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee it is "incredible" that the British parliament has allowed Brexit negotiations to come to their current state.

"It is incredible in my view that the British parliament has allowed it come to this," he said.

He added: "But that being said I still believe there is a way to get through this process and to have a managed, controlled and predictable Brexit."

Mr Coveney also said that one of the big mistakes in London is the perspective that "the EU needs a deal as much as we need a deal".

"That is just factually not true first and foremost. But we do want a deal, when I say we I am talking about the EU. We want to be reasonable and fair about that," he said.

The Tánaiste said it was "regrettable" that the government and opposition parties in the UK have not co-operated in the way parties here have.

"It is regrettable that kind of approach hasn't been possible, even now, with 43 days to go, and we still don't have a proper formal dialogue between the two main parties in the British parliament," he said.

Britain is a great country, he said, but we have to call it as it is.

"The problem here is politics. There is a fair deal on the table. But there are some who want more and who seem to want to change the current deal to take out compromises that the UK have been asked to make but insist the EU leaves all the compromises they are asked to make."

Mr Coveney was taking members of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee through the Omnibus Bill which will deal with a no-deal Brexit.

He told members that the bill will facilitate agreements between Ireland and the UK which will ensure Irish and UK students will not be liable for foreign fees.


Read more:
May loses symbolic Brexit vote in parliament
S&P sees possible Brexit 'silver lining' for some Irish firms
'Border buster' legacy highlights opposition to hard border


Mr Coveney said even if a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was signed off on in the morning, there is a considerable amount of work in the British parliament to bring in legislation.

He said if there if there is no deal and Britain crashes out, then Ireland, Britain and the EU will have a difficult job to manage the consequences of that.

He said that if there is no agreed solution then the default position is regulatory alignment between Northern Ireland and the Republic in areas necessary to prevent physical border infrastructure.