Wednesday 18 September 2019

Taoiseach says Fine Gael 'would be willing' to prop up Fianna Fáil led government after next election

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar chats with general election candidate Emer Currie (left) and TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor (right) during the Fine Gael parliamentary meeting at the Garryvoe Hotel in Cork. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar chats with general election candidate Emer Currie (left) and TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor (right) during the Fine Gael parliamentary meeting at the Garryvoe Hotel in Cork. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he would be willing to enter into a Confidence and Supply agreement with Fianna Fáil - if his party lose out to their rivals in the next general election

Mr Varadkar said yesterday that he sees May 2020 as the right time for an election and speaking to RTÉ Morning Ireland today, he said he would be open to negotiating with Fianna Fáil again.

Fianna Fáil is currently propping up Mr Varadkar's Fine Gael government since May 2016.

The Taoiseach said that provided that Fine Gael's policies are included in the agreement, they would be open to such an arrangement.

"If the shoe is on the other foot, if they were the largest party and we were the second party, we would have to give consideration in that circumstance," Mr Varadkar said.

Read more: Kevin Doyle: 'Back-to-school feel as Fine Gael TDs regroup for a spot of gossiping and some mud-slinging'

"We would obviously expect in that agreement a lot of our policies to be reflected."

However, Mr Varadkar said they will seek to form a government should they come out on top in the election.

Speaking to Fine Gael TD's and senators at yesterday's party Think-In in Cork, Mr Varadkar said May 2020 would be the "right moment" for a general election.

He said this would allow a new government to be in place "well in advance of the next summer recess".

"We should also, by then, have secured a Brexit deal or have guided the country through the worst of no deal, though timelines, when it comes to Brexit, are unpredictable," he said.

Read more: John Downing: 'Leo hopes to follow in Bertie's footsteps with some May election magic'

"I believe we can win that election. In fact, I am sure of it, even though it may not become apparent until the last week or 10 days of the election campaign.

"The country is on the right track. The economy is strong with full employment and rising incomes. We have the best team and the best plans. That is shining through," he added.

Read more: Bullish Varadkar says next May is 'right moment' for country to go to the polls

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