The European Union considers a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland “unacceptable”, according to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. He warned of “serious damage” in the event of a no deal scenario.

Speaking alongside his Irish counterpart Simon Coveney on January 8, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the EU would not accept a hard border between Ireland, an EU member state, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

As reported by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), Maas pledged the EU’s full support for the Republic of Ireland in the face of increasing uncertainty ahead of a fast-approaching deadline for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Maas called on British lawmakers to support Prime Minister Theresa May‘s Brexit deal, rather than risk leaving the EU without an agreement in place.

“We are very much focused on working to make sure there is no no-deal Brexit because it would trigger disadvantages for my own country and for the EU at large. It might have a negative effect on jobs in Germany,” said Maas.

“Even a no-deal scenario is still an option despite the serious damage that this would cause on both sides,” he added.

The British parliament is set to vote on May’s deal on January 15.