Varadkar: deal with Fianna Fáil should not ‘drop dead’ after budget

Leo Varadkar says confidence and supply agreement could run beyond third budget

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “I certainly see no reason why the agreement can’t be continued beyond the third budget.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “I certainly see no reason why the agreement can’t be continued beyond the third budget.”

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he would not like to see the Government’s confidence and supply arrangement with Fianna Fáil “drop dead” the day after next year’s budget.

The agreement with Fianna Fáil, which is central to the functioning of the Fine Gael-led minority Government, runs up to the budget in October 2018 and Mr Varadkar said he and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin would have to have a conversation “at a certain point”.

A review is built into the arrangement agreed between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in the 10 week negotiations following the February 2016 general election which resulted in no clear majority for any party or grouping.

Under confidence and supply, a party or group in parliament typically agrees to back a government on confidence votes and on spending votes, such as budgets.

Mr Varadkar told journalists that the confidence and supply arrangement with Fianna Fáil could “potentially” be continued “and I certainly see no reason why it can’t be continued beyond the third budget”.

He said it was a conversation he would first have to have with Mr Martin and then with their two parties.

Asked if he would have that conversation in the first quarter of 2018, Mr Varadkar replied: “Not the first quarter no, but I wouldn’t like to see it drop dead the day after the budget either.”

He added: “That wouldn’t be in anyone’s interest and it would not be in the best interests of the country certainly to have a Government on budget night with a confidence and supply agreement but not the day after.”

He said “I imagine that conversation will be had at some stage next year but it is not a conversation I have had yet with Micheal Martin so I probably should have it first.”