Confidence and Supply talks must be ‘substantive’, Micheal Martin says

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Confidence and Supply talks must be ‘substantive’, Micheal Martin says


Micheal Martin
Micheal Martin

Talks on underpinning the Government must be “substantive”, Micheal Martin has said.

The Fianna Fail leader highlighted what he termed a “critical delivery deficit” on housing, health, broadband and Brexit preparations.

He named a four-strong team to conduct talks on the supply and confidence arrangement which has enabled the minority Government to pass budgets and survive no confidence motions since the 2016 general election.

It comprises deputy leader Dara Calleary, spokesman for finance Michael McGrath, Brexit spokeswoman Lisa Chambers and agriculture spokesman Charlie McConalogue and discussions are due to begin in the next week.

Mr Martin said: “We are setting no new conditions and we will agree to no new conditions or deadlines.

“The review must be as we have anticipated from when it was agreed two-and-a-half years ago.

“It must be substantive. It must push aside the increasingly empty PR of government claims and deliver a serious review of the critical policies which are of most concern to the public.”

He addressed the Wolfe Tone commemoration in Bodenstown, Co Kildare.

Mr Martin said: “We have guaranteed stability in the coming months because of the critical phase of the Brexit negotiations, so unless the Taoiseach decides otherwise there is no danger of Ireland being caught without a functioning parliament and stable government due to an election campaign and lengthy government formation period.

“Our focus is on delivering stability until the risk of a no-deal Brexit or a major last-minute change is overcome.

“We are entering the review in good faith. If the Government matches this good faith it can be a constructive process.”

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Fine Gael is pressing for speedy completion of the talks.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he wants to see another election in summer 2020.

Fine Gael’s team for the confidence and supply review will include Tanaiste Simon Coveney, finance minister Paschal Donohoe, social protection minister Regina Doherty and Martin Heydon TD, chairman of the parliamentary party.

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