THE EU will not be “steam-rolled” into scrapping the backstop for a makeshift deal, the Irish Government has insisted, as Boris Johnson was warned he might be in for a “nasty surprise” when he meets Germany’s Angela Merkel to talk Brexit today.

Dublin’s blunt message of defiance came from Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister, just hours before the Prime Minister turned up in Berlin, promising to inject a “lot of oomph” into the stalled talks and get Brussels to change the Withdrawal Agreement it sealed with Theresa May.

Mr Coveney pointed out how his government would be “imaginative” and “helpful” in trying to find a way to give the reassurance and clarification that Mr Johnson needed to sell a deal at Westminster but he also made clear the UK Government’s hard-nosed approach meant it was “making a no-deal far more likely”.

He explained: “We are not going to abandon a solution that we know works for some kind of promise on the basis of trust that we will all work together to try and find a solution and muddle on in the future to solve the border.

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"If we do that, what we will be doing is we will creating collateral damage in Ireland to solve a problem in Westminster and for the next number of years the border issue will dominate Irish politics, north and south, because we haven't resolved it in the way we that know we can.

"We are not in the business of facilitating the UK effectively moving away from commitments they have made to Ireland and the EU to protect the Good Friday Agreement, to protect an all-island economy, and to replace that with some sort of makeshift deal in the weeks before a no-deal. That isn't what we are going to do,” declared the Tanaiste.

Mr Coveney stressed in an interview with RTE Radio 1 that no one wanted to see the relationship between Ireland and the UK deteriorate.

But he made clear: "We are not in the business of being steam-rolled at the end of this because a British prime minister has rolled out new red lines. That's not a reasonable approach.

"We are trying to manage relationships in a way that is consistent with the Good Friday Agreement. Ireland is a confident young country that expect to negotiate on an equal basis. If we didn't have the backstop we wouldn't have answers to how we solve the border challenge,” added Mr Coveney.

Earlier, Thomas Matussek, the former German ambassador to the UK, insisted his government would “not throw Ireland under a bus”.

He warned there were "certain issues on which the EU cannot budge" and those who thought it might make eleventh hour concessions "might be in for a nasty surprise".

Mr Matussek added that if the EU27 listened to British “parliamentarians and to people who show more understanding of what Europe is, there might be a glimmer of hope”.

It is on this point that Mr Johnson is expected to focus his conversation with Mrs Merkel ie to disabuse her of the idea that MPs in some way can stop Brexit.

Downing St believes that Brussels will not move on the Withdrawal Agreement until it sees that MPs, opposed to the Conservative Government’s approach to Brexit, can stop it.

Tory backbencher Ed Vaizey claimed Mr Johnson was "just going through the motions" with his Europe visits this week - he is due to meet France's Emmanuel Macron in Paris tomorrow before the weekend G7 summit in Biarritz - and was "hell-bent on getting no deal".

He said the "real onus now" was on Parliament showing it was willing to pass a withdrawal agreement, adding that talk of a government of national unity was "completely for the birds".

The MP for Wantage told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Well, I'm not going to vote no confidence in the Government.

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“I will look at any measures that could prevent no-deal happening but my challenge to my anti-no-deal colleagues, and I totally respect their position…is: where does that get us? Where does an extension get us? It delays it by six months to a year, it doesn't solve the problem."

The former Culture Minister argued Britain would continue to have a “zombie Parliament” unless and until it left the EU and parties could then campaign to try and get a Commons majority.

"So, we have to find a way to get Parliament to agree to a deal and, therefore, I would give Boris Johnson the credit of at least forcing on Parliament an existential crisis by being faced with a prime minister who is hell-bent on getting no-deal.

"He is completely serious about no-deal and there's no chance of him negotiating a deal with the EU, he knows that, he's just going through the motions," he added.

His Conservative colleague Robert Jenrick, the Housing Secretary, insisted it was "entirely possible" for the PM to secure a Brexit deal but argued that removing the backstop offered the "only prospect of securing a deal".

He told Today: "He's saying...he will negotiate energetically in the pursuit of a deal, he's very happy to sit down and to talk to EU leaders but he's making clear that the backstop needs to be removed, that is the only prospect of securing a deal."

Mr Jenrick added: "If we have a very credible option to leave on October 31...We make clear to the EU that we want to secure a deal, we want to leave in an orderly way that works both for us and for our friends in the EU, but that the only way to do that is to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement; remove the backstop."