The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister has expressed concern about the implications of the UK Conservative Party supply and confidence deal with the DUP on Brexit.
Simon Coveney said no party should have a veto over the future of the Irish border after the UK leaves the European Union.
He was speaking after DUP leader Arlene Foster praised Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday for “standing firm” against the EU.
Mrs May issued a tough statement following the summit in Salzburg where European leaders rejected her Chequers deal.
Speaking from Downing Street, Mrs May insisted the “backstop” proposal from Brussels to keep Northern Ireland in the EU customs area unless a better solution can be found is “unacceptable” to Britain because it would create a customs border down the Irish Sea.
Her new alternative would “preserve the integrity of the UK” while delivering on a commitment not to establish fresh regulatory barriers with the rest of the UK without the agreement of the Executive and Assembly in Belfast, she said.
Speaking on RTE’s Marian Finucane show on Saturday, Mr Coveney questioned the UK’s Conservative Government supply and confidence agreement with the DUP.
The two parties entered into the parliamentary voting pact in 2017 following a Westminster election which left the Conservatives scrambling to secure a majority.
Mr Coveney made a pointed comment about this, emphasising the Irish Government listens to all the political parties in Northern Ireland.
“We don’t have a confidence and supply agreement with any one party in Northern Ireland - we listen to all of them, including the DUP and the UUP and the Alliance, and the SDLP and Sinn Fein,” he said.
“I think the DUP would accept that Northern Ireland is different.”
Mr Coveney also expressed concern the so-called backstop “has turned into a green versus orange issue”, adding it is important to “de-dramatise” the situation and turn attention to the practicalities of trade and movement of goods and people.
He also emphasised that Ireland is not seeking to undermine the constitutional integrity of the UK, and accused Sinn Fein of “spreading fear” among the unionist community by previously calling for a border poll.
Mr Coveney has called for an intensification of talks between the UK and EU Brexit teams.
On Friday, Mrs Foster also repeated her warning that her party will veto any “attempt to undermine the economic or constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom”.
She said: “Our red line from day one of these negotiations has been that there can be no border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
“We continue our intensive work with the Government to ensure that we leave the EU in a manner which protects the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom and enables us to take back control of our laws, borders and money.”
Sinn Fein president Mary-Lou McDonald also took issue with the DUP position and said they should respect that the majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain within the EU.
“The backstop, as agreed in December, was to secure the interests of our economy, our people and our agreements.
“It is a common-sense solution to the British Brexit. It would deliver for all our people north and south,” she said.
“It is clear the DUP has a reckless disregard for the economy, agreements, livelihoods and jobs of the North.
“They do not represent the views of the majority of people nor the interests of the economy.
“Both the Tory Party and the DUP should respect the vote of the majority in the North to remain within the European Union with all that entails.
“The DUP cannot veto the vote of the people in the North to remain.
“It is time for the DUP and British Government to get real. There will be no withdrawal agreement without a backdrop that protects the interests of all Ireland.”