Micheal Martin said he is more hopeful a free trade Brexit agreement will be made than last week.

As talks continue in Brussels, the Irish Premier said that is a “good sign”.

“It gives me greater hope than I had last week that potentially a resolution can be found to the very difficult and challenging issues of a level playing field, fisheries and a dispute mechanism to deal with that,” he told the Irish parliament.

READ MORE: No-deal Brexit remains ‘most likely outcome’ says Boris Johnson

“My focus and view of that at the moment is that it’s important that both get it right and that they concentrate on getting a deal.

“Then subsequent to that, if they can get a deal over the line it’s a matter for member states to work out how we deal with that procedure.”

He added: “The news last week of a conclusion to the negotiation to the protocol and the Withdrawal Agreement was very good news. Both sides deserve credit on the constructive way that they engaged and indications were good.

“It’s important in terms of the experience in a post-Brexit Ireland, that the agreement is signed off.”

Boris Johnson told his Cabinet that leaving the European Union without a free trade agreement remained the “most likely outcome” but that negotiations would continue.

READ MORE: UK-EU trade deal talks continue amid reports of progress

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “The Prime Minister opened Cabinet with an update on the ongoing negotiations with the EU.

“(He) re-emphasised the desire to reach a free trade agreement – but not at any cost – and reiterated that any agreement must respect the independence and sovereignty of the UK.

“The Prime Minister made clear that not being able to reach an agreement and ending the transition period on Australian-style terms remained the most likely outcome but committed to continuing to negotiate on the remaining areas of disagreement.”