‘Election would be reckless’: Martin vows to prop up Varadkar until Brexit deal done

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    ‘Election would be reckless’: Martin vows to prop up Varadkar until Brexit deal done


    Memorial: Micheál Martin and fellow Fianna Fáil members arrive for the annual Wolfe Tone gathering at Bodenstown cemetery, Co Kildare, yesterday. Photo: COLIN O’RIORDAN
    Memorial: Micheál Martin and fellow Fianna Fáil members arrive for the annual Wolfe Tone gathering at Bodenstown cemetery, Co Kildare, yesterday. Photo: COLIN O’RIORDAN

    Micheál Martin is standing by a pledge to prop up Leo Varadkar’s Government until a Brexit deal is concluded -despite concerns over how prepared Ireland is.

    The Fianna Fáil leader hit out at the Government’s preparedness for any Brexit outcome, but is standing over claims that a general election is not in the interest of the country.

    That is despite what he termed a “chronic lack of planning and preparation around Brexit”.

    However, Mr Martin left the door open for a general election in the immediate aftermath of a Brexit deal, stating the review of the confidence and supply agreement will govern that. He reiterated that it would be “reckless” to have an election in the midst of such volatility in the UK.

    He also appeared to dismiss the suggestion of extending the deal to 2020 with an agreed election date as “Leo’s agenda”.

    Speaking after he delivered a speech at the party’s annual Wolfe Tone commemoration, Mr Martin indicated that his offer for an amnesty until after Brexit – which he described as “reasonable” – still stands.

    He said he did not see the absence of an election as a risk.

    Negotiating teams from both parties are to meet in the coming days to begin a review process of the confidence and supply deal that has facilitated the minority Fine Gael Government since 2016.

    A senior Fianna Fáil source said the Government’s response to various Brexit scenarios will form part of the negotiations with Fine Gael.

    Mr Martin, meanwhile, said he would not be beholden to any deadlines by Fine Gael.

    Tánaiste Simon Coveney had put the latest time limit on talks, calling for them to be concluded in a month.

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    But Mr Martin warned that the process was not to rubber-stamp an extension. “This is not about carrying on as before. It’s not about signing on the dotted line and continuing for another two years. No-one has a definite right to power. There has to be a focus on the issues,” he said.

    Irish Independent

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