Mr Hogan told the Irish Times: “That is certainly a clear indication of divergence between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the EU and the rest of the UK.
“This is the first time that this has been spoken about by a British prime minister where they are prepared to accept some level of divergence between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
“If we can build on that we certainly might get closer to one another in terms of a possible outcome.”
But this might not fly with the EU, something that Mr Hogan hinted at in his interview.
“It would have to include all goods… in terms of any agreement,” he said, adding that he was hopeful “that the penny is finally dropping with the UK” on Brexit.
UK officials have recently submitted four so-called “non-papers” during recent discussions in Brussels.
A non-paper is an informal document, usually used to test the reaction of other parties to possible solutions, without necessarily committing the proposer.
Irish broadcaster RTE has reported one of these non-papers included a plan to replace the backstop with “customs clearance sites” on both sides of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
These could be perhaps five to ten miles back, the Irish broadcaster added.
The Irish government dismissed the reported plans as a “non-starter”, while Mr Johnson said the details so far were wrong and claimed Brussels was only rubbishing old proposals – not the full plan set to come.
Number 10 also rejected suggestions the UK had proposed a “string of inspection posts”, as RTE claimed the plans would effectively amount to.