Ireland set for snap BREXIT ELECTION? Cocky Varadkar warned ‘you DO NOT have divine rule’

Posted on Jun 29 2018 - 8:57pm by admin

Mr Varadkar’s Fine Gael party is soaring in the polls and, like Theresa May last year, the taoiseach (prime minister) believes an election could help him increase his parliament majority.

But political rivals have accused him of “reckless” politicking which could actually weaken Ireland’s in Brexit negotiations with the UK.

Fine Gael is currently engaged in a confidence-and-supply agreement with their biggest rivals Fianna Fáil, who narrowly lost the 2016 Irish election.

For the sake of stability during the Brexit negotiations, Fianna Fáil agreed to allow Fine Gael to take power, despite only finishing with six fewer seats.

But relations between Ireland’s two biggest parties have grown increasingly rocky in recent weeks amid rumours Mr Varadkar wants to accelerate talks to increase the length of the agreement – or even call a snap “Brexit election” in order to secure a more stable government.

Fianna Fáil’s leader Micheál Martin this week hit out at Mr Varadkar, who he accused of acting like he had “a divine power to rule”.

And he urged the taoiseach to “cop on” and “respect” the agreement rather than risk political instability at a time when Ireland needed to show a united front during Brexit negotiations.

A party source said: “It would take a lot of explaining from Leo to tell the public why he went to the polls during the talks.”

Another admitted they faced a heavy election defeat if a snap poll was called because Mr Varadkar “will make a strong argument for stability”.

Mr Varadkar, however, accused Mr Martin of attempting to undermine the stability of the government, leaving him little choice but to consider an election.

The taoiseach said he would not be drawn into a “tit for tat” but said his government “really need to understand” whether Mr Martin was prepared to support the agreement.

Ireland and the Irish border remain the biggest obstacle in Brexit’s path with Dublin and Brussels standing firm by their red line of blocking anything which could lead to a hard border on the island.

Mr Varadkar has been promised a veto on any final Brexit deal with this week’s EU Summit – once a deadline for a solution to the crisis – passing without any real progress.

In the two years since the Brexit vote in June 2016 Ireland’s government has watched on in increasing bemusement and frustration as the UK has struggled to put forward a single workable proposal to avoid a hard border.

Instead bizarre solutions such as airships patrolling the border and “yet-to-be-developed technology” have been put forward.

The UK has been accused of not taking the issue seriously – an accusation which increased in frequency after Boris Johnson suggested easier this year the Irish border could be treated in the same way as the boundary between the London boroughs of Camden and Westminster.

He said the comparison between Northern Ireland, which is set to leave the EU, and the Republic, which will remain a member, and the two city neighbourhoods was “very relevant”.

He said: “There’s no border between Camden and Westminster.

“But when I was mayor of London we anaesthetically and invisibly took hundreds of millions of pounds from the accounts of people travelling between those two boroughs without any need for border checks, whatever.”

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