Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is riding high in the personal ratings. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fine Gael unable to pull away from the rest despite Taoiseach’s surge in personal rating

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Government’s approval ratings have risen significantly since the last Irish Times poll.

Public shows support for Taoiseach and Government’s stance on Brexit and economy

A November election would require Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to gamble his office, when he could look forward to sitting in it for another six months. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Deal would leave Varadkar facing his biggest political decision as Taoiseach

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says that he had a ‘constructive meeting’ with British Brexit envoy Stephen Barclay on Friday. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

Most had predicted that talks on a deal would break down, but that’s all changed utterly

EU Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Friday. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

Barnier and UK counterpart agree to intensification the discussions

Brexit talks: British prime minister Boris Johnson in conversation with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: PA

No EU-UK agreement on new withdrawal pact without Republic’s assent, says Dublin

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British prime minister Boris Johnson shake hands  outside Thornton Manor Hotel near Birkenhead on Thursday. Photograph: Noel Mullen/Government Press Office via Getty Images

Taoiseach holds ‘very positive and very promising’ meeting with Boris Johnson

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: there is little expectation in Brussels that a breakthrough is possible to enable EU leaders to approve a deal. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

Taoiseach’s talks with Johnson in Liverpool defined as focusing on Brexit deal ‘process’

It will be the second meeting between the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and  British prime Minister Boris Johnson  in the space of three weeks. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The private meeting is expected to take place in the Liverpool area

 Paschal Donohoe in studio at RTE ahead of the Today with Sean O’Rourke show to take calls from the public on Budget 2019. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Government delivers cautious budget amid no-deal Brexit fears

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘I don’t play dirty, and I don’t think most EU leaders do either.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Language ‘from some quarters’ toxic, says Taoiseach, as Downing Street spins

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: faced challenges to present a prudent, green and Brexit-proofed budget. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

The Minister is claiming the mantle of fiscal prudence, but is it looking a little threadbare?

The Budget 2020 speech by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on display across multiple televisions at Harvey Norman Airside Retail Park. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Expected tax cuts and welfare increases fail to materialise in standstill budget

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: does not respond well to being pressured through the media. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Inside Politics: Donohoe holds tight rein on spending due to Brexit and his cautious instincts

Government Buildings: centre of activity on budget day

Day begins early with Paschal Donohoe briefing Cabinet about budget package

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe is to announce Budget 2020 on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Rise in commercial stamp duty to help cover cost of more care hours, gardaí and allowances

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, speaking to media in advance of Budget 2020 at the Department of Finance, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Fossil fuel workers are going to be disproportionately affected,’ says Fine Gael TD

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: his budget must present a significant response to the threat of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Donohoe’s tasks are Brexit, fiscal prudence, climate, public services and competence

DUP leader Arlene Foster speaking to media outside Belfast City airport. She said the UK’s new Brexit proposals would ensure that Northern Ireland could not be “trapped at the whim of Dublin or the EU”. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

DUP leader reacts angrily to Dublin reaction to Boris Brexit plan

British prime minister Boris Johnson’s proposals will be the starting point for new negotiations, concede Irish sources. Photograph: PA

Irish-EU view is that an extension is the most likely outcome, followed by a UK election

 Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson attends the final day of the annual Conservative Party conference. Photograph: Oli Scarff / AFP

Government and EU to engage with UK on backstop proposals

In his closing speech to the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Boris Johnson described his proposal as a compromise for both sides that respects the Belfast Agreement.

Government and EU to engage with UK on backstop proposals

There are hundreds of downsides to a crash-out Brexit. But Dublin has long been fixated on one in particular – Border checks. Photograph: Getty Images

Why would the Irish Government sign up for checks as part of a deal when it thinks checks are the worst thing about no deal?

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said border checks on goods in Ireland was a deeply political issue. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Taoiseach speaks to British prime minister on phone after alternative proposal outlined

Boris Johnson will tell the Conservative party conference in his closing speech that ‘we will keep fighting to respect the biggest democratic vote in British history’. Photograph: Getty

British PM to tell EU that reworked withdrawal agreement Britain’s final offer

Boris Johnson has promised to manage the Border – if possible to the point of invisibility – rather than take away the need for it

Johnson’s Border position signals to his side it is charging towards Brexit, and it signals to Dublin it has to get over itself ab(...)

Brussels and Dublin: not bowled over by Britain’s proposals for ’customs clearance centres’. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Johnson government put forward plan for ‘customs clearance centres’ a few miles either side of Border

The Armagh border between Newry in Northern Ireland and Dundalk in the Republic. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

Deal hopes fade as British proposls dismissed completely by the Republic and the EU

The bill is part of the Government’s response to Brexit, though it will not be in place for some months. Photograph: iStock

Proposed changes will free Enterprise Ireland to help companies affected by Brexit

Northern Ireland secretary of state Julian Smith. ‘To those who lobby me to change the law, I say the only way is for Northern Ireland’s political leaders to form a government,’ he said. File photograph: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

‘Information campaign’ to inform public in North soon about the impending legal changes

Students take part in   the climate change strike   in Dublin on September 20th. Protests can show public support but climate activists also need to prepare for the political and legislative phase. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Protesters must shift focus on to the political and legislative phase of their campaign

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  said: “We’re looking at a number of things, certainly around income taxes.” Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach says budget will have tax cuts ‘but they won’t be like the last three years’

The EU believes that Boris Johnson’s political authority has been severely damaged by Tuesday’s supreme court judgment. Photograph:   House of Commons/PA Wire

Despite UK claims, the EU doubts a deal is on. Here are the likely options facing both sides in the week ahead

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets British prime minister Boris Johnson during the UN General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US. Photograph: Michael Nagle

Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar hold ‘constructive and productive’ meeting

Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson is facing calls for his resignation. Photograph: AP

Analysis: Johnson faces humiliating return to parliament where he lacks a majority

Despite regular reports of optimism in London about a new Brexit deal, according to sources in Dublin and Brussels the prospects for any breakthrough remain remote. Photograph: Getty Images

British diplomats are briefing that the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for Ireland are so disastrous that compromise is likely

Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson: London’s objectives are miles away from the EU’s. Photograph: Frank Augstein

Imminence of Brexit about to force Government to reveal plan for Border checks

Warnings by a British minister that Ireland could face shortages of medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit have been dismissed. Photograph: PA Wire

Government sources taken aback by tone and content of Steve Barclay’s speech

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has issued a “dose of reality” about the prospects for a Brexit deal. Photograph: Collins

Britain submits ‘technical non-papers’ which reflect the ideas the UK

DUP leader Arlene Foster arrives to speak to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inside Politics: Leader tells Dublin event that party could accept post-Brexit arrangements specific to North with conditions

DUP leader Arlene Foster: party may accept a new Brexit deal which treats the North differently to the rest of the UK  subject to conditions. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Special arrangements leaving North within UK may be acceptable, says Arlene Foster

British prime minister Boris Johnson has been told by EU leaders proposals must achieve the same effect as the backstop contained in the withdrawal treaty. Photograph: Getty

Mood in Dublin is growing more pessimistic despite boisterous claims by the British PM

DUP leader Arlene Foster: ‘We do recognise the unique history and geography, but we also have to recognise that we are in the United Kingdom.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

‘What we want to see is a recognition that we are on an island... but also we are in the UK’

The Taoiseach reiterated the Government’s opposition to the introduction of direct rule after Brexit, which is widely expected. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

British PM expressed desire to attend next British-Irish Council meeting, says Varadkar

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: “We await written proposals from the UK side. We simply haven’t seen any written proposals to date.”  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘We haven’t seen anything that works,’ says source, amid claims UK ideas insufficient

Tánaiste Simon Coveney speaking to media at Government Buildings: ‘Of course there are conversations, as you would expect, exploring concepts, what might work, what won’t work.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste expresses frustration at lack of written proposals from British ministers

Sinn Féin’s  Gerry Adams. File image: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Spectre of ‘President Gerry Adams’ dampens spirit for franchise referendum

 The Dáil gives the Opposition a platform to take on the Government that it lacked during the summer

Inside Politics: Ploughing Championships open as Central Bank warns a third of farms could struggle to survive under a no-deal

  Beef and sheep farms face ‘significant viability challenges’ as they rely heavily on subsidies from Brussels, according to a Central Bank analysis. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Warning comes as Northern Secretary holds talks aimed at restarting Stormont assembly

The proposal would only see emigrants and citizens abroad and in the North given the right to vote in presidential elections, rather than in all elections. Above, President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Tom Honan

Vote was to be held in November but likely to be squeezed out by Brexit and by-elections

Northern  Secretary Julian Smith has suggested a revived Stormont Assembly could have a role to play in any new Brexit deal that had specific Northern Ireland elements.  File photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Julian Smith highlights the possible importance of revived Assembly during Dublin visit

  Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  The European Commission – with whom the Government is engaged in (very) private talks – must be insisting on a rather more muscular goods-checking regime than Dublin previously envisaged.

Budget and election are platforms not for promises or pledges but for vital credibility

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warned that the Green Party (despite his intention to steal some of their policies) could be “the Trojan horse” that allows Fianna Fáil back into government. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Analysis: Taoiseach uses Fine Gael think-in to have a go at Fianna Fáil

Tánaiste Simon Coveney (R): ‘difficult not to be sceptical’ about the British government’s intentions. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Difficult not to be sceptical about British government’s intentions, Minister says

Sinn Féin leader Mary-Lou McDonald (right) with deputy leader Michelle O’Neill (left) at the party’s think-in. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

McDonald tells party think-in DUP ‘must not have veto on protecting Ireland’s basic rights’

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: bleaker outlook on Brexit since Boris Johnson became UK prime minister. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Fiscal watchdog warns of Brexit leaving a major hole in Government finances

A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament’s Parliamentary Recording Unit  shows Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson speaking following the announcement of the result of a vote on his motion for an early parliamentary general election, a motion that did not carry, in the House of Commons in London on Tuesday morning.  Photograph: PRU/AFP/Getty

PM pledges in Dublin to strive for deal as British parliament wary of legal compliance

British prime minister Boris Johnson speaks to the media ahead of his meeting with  Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings on Monday. Photograph: Getty

British PM cites technology and trusted trader schemes, which have been rejected

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right) and  British prime minister Boris Johnson at Government Buildings on Monday. Photograph: PA Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Leaders stress commitment to Good Friday Agreement in ‘positive and constructive’ meeting

European commissioner for agriculture and rural development  Phil Hogan  with Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw on September 3rd, 2019. Photograph: Radek Pietruszka

Role key to post-Brexit deals with UK likely to go to Hogan if he is nominated on Tuesday

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, inspects the newly installed infrastructure checkpoints at Dublin Port in anticipation of no-deal Brexit.  Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Taoiseach says he is willing to see if there is common ground with UK prime minister

 Gerry Harrahill, Revenue Commissioner and Director of Customs showing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar newly built inspection facilities at Dublin Port in advance of Brexit. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach warns he does not expect any Brexit breakthroughs in Dublin meeting

Anti-Brexit demonstrators outside the gates of Downing Street in central London this week. People who argued more-or-less politely now scream about treason and betrayal.  Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Let us all pause and think before we jump into our own constitutional maelstrom

‘First it was no checks at all, and no Border infrastructure anywhere. Then it was possible checks but not on or near the Border.’

Varadkar and Johnson may yet find common ground at scheduled Dublin meeting

UK prime minister Boris Johnson making a speech in West Yorkshire. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

UK prime minister says cross-Border arrangement could extend beyond agri-food

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the British-Irish Chamber dinner some checks on goods and live animals entering the Republic would take place ‘near the Border’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Dave Meehan

‘Expensive and bureaucratic’: Varadkar spells out effects of worst-case scenario

Dublin South West TD Paul Murphy said it was ‘fundamental problem’ with the Brexit negotiations that there was ‘no representatives of ordinary people anywhere in Europe on either side of the negotiating table.’

TDs insist ‘security and peace’ more important than membership of EU single market

Simon Coveney said there would be ‘carnage’ in the fishing industry after a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Scenarios include 10,000 job losses in tourism in months after no-deal

The single market is seen as paramount. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

If Dublin’s great fear comes to pass, Ministers are clear about which choice they will make

While Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson have spoken on the phone, this will be their first meeting as heads of government.

Johnson suggests agri-food could continue to be regulated on an all-Ireland basis after Brexit

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at a public services card launch. The Data Protection Commissioner recently ordered that Government departments and agencies to delete the data on citizens which was not related to welfare services. File photograph: Eric Luke

Doherty to appeal commissioner’s findings about wider use of card

It is understood that  at Tuesday’s briefing Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will not discuss in detail any preparations for dealing with the Border in the event of no deal.  Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

British PM expected to travel to Dublin next week for talks with Leo Varadkar

Some senior figures in Fine Gael accept privately that Micheál Martin is now ahead of Leo Varadkar in the race to the Taoiseach’s Office.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Pat Leahy: An election will inevitably follow the UK’s Brexit denouement

Demonstrators  outside the cabinet office in London on Friday. Former prime minister John Major has announced that he will join one of several legal actions to block Boris Johnson’s move to suspend parliament. Photograph: Tom Jamieson/New York Times

Despite promise to intensify talks, UK has not tabled proposals for alternative to backstop

Simon Coveney: There is no country that wants a deal more than Ireland. Photograph: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty

Boris Johnson’s government has put forward nothing credible, says Tánaiste

Protesters outside the Houses of Parliament in London demonstrate against prime minister Boris Johnson’s planned closure of parliament  for five weeks. Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

No-deal opponents set to block suspension move with no-confidence vote in PM

Tánaiste Simon Coveney and UK Brexit secretary  Stephen Barclay at the Medef business conference at Longchamp racecourse in Paris on Wednesday. Photograph: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Michael D’Arcy comments came as other Government Ministers declined to be drawn on plan to suspend Westminster

British prime minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons. File photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament/AFP/Getty

Move to prorogue parliament is logical, even if it is a trashing of the British constitution

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue: has  pointed out monthly spending returns for the year to July show health is continuing to exceed its budgeted allocation for 2019.   Photograph: James Forde

Relations with Simon Harris strained by effort to control healthcare spending

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney meets Czech foreign minister Tomas Petricek  in Prague. Photograph:  Michal Cizek/AFP

Simon Coveney says any new proposals must guarantee to avoid a hard border

A no-deal Brexit is “not a big deal” for An Post, the company has said.

Helen McEntee warns consumers to be ready for online shopping changes in no-deal scenario

Garret Bridgeman, managing director of An Post mails and parcels with Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee and Fergal O’Leary of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission,  talk to the media at the  An Post Mail Centre in Portlaoise. Photograph: Cate McCurry /PA Wire

Boris Johnson said he would take talks with EU to the very last minute before October 31st deadline

Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister Helen McEntee. As Coveney and Varadkar never lose an opportunity to remind us, Brexit is a British policy. It’s not their fault. And they’re right. Photograph: James Forde

Party says its wants to get institution up and running to make case against Brexit

French president Emmanuel Macron and British prime minister Boris Johnson:   French officials are planning for a no-deal as most likely scenario, evidence of growing desire in Paris the British just get on with it and leave. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson

PM’s sincerity still in doubt as Brexit focus returns to London after European visits

Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil, on  August 17th, 2019. Photograph: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo

Jair Bolsonaro criticised as rainforest wildfires continue to rage

French president Emmanuel Macron welcomes British prime minister Boris Johnson ahead of a meeting at The Élysée Palace in Paris. Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

French president agrees to listen to British proposals to change withdrawal agreement

EU commissioner Phil Hogan said “the EU will not buckle” on the backstop. File image: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

EU commissioner says failure to reach an agreement will create a ‘foul atmosphere’

UK prime minister Boris Johnson: Several senior sources in Brussels and Dublin believe his political and diplomatic offensive is aimed primarily at a domestic audience.  Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Irish and EU leaders will not discuss how to manage Border until Britain leaves EU

Dublin and Brussels will wait and see what the outcome is of the inevitable parliamentary showdown between Boris Johnson’s government and the opponents of no-deal Brexit at Westminster in September. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

Saga will reach a few decisive points in coming weeks with Ireland at the epicentre

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened;   British prime minister Boris Johnson says it will not pass the House of Commons.

Phonecall with Taoiseach reveals Johnson sticking to stance on withdrawal agreement

British prime minister Boris Johnson spoke with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar by phone on Monday evening. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Pool/EPA

British PM had proposed alternative guarantees for the Border in lieu of backstop

British prime minister Boris Johnson: ‘I want a deal. We’re ready to work with our friends and partners to get a deal, but if you want a good deal for the UK, you must simultaneously get ready to come out without one.’ Photograph: Simon Dawson/Pool/EPA

Two leaders speak by telephone for an hour, both condemn Fermanagh bomb attack

British prime minister Boris Johnson: he is hoping that in a general election his simple, clear Brexit message will win through in a fractured political landscape. Photograph: Jacob King/PA Wire

The prime minister is not talking to Dublin, he is not talking to Brussels. He is talking to the British electorate

Leo Varadkar at the MacGill summer school where he predicted a no-deal Brexit would prompt more liberal unionists and nationalists in the North to consider joining a united Ireland. Photograph: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

DUP describes as ‘unhelpful’ and ‘aggressive’ Taoiseach’s comments on stability of union

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, with the summer school’s director, Joe Mulholland. Photograph: North West Newspix

Varadkar says he hopes Central Bank will look at moves to help people escape ‘rent trap’

US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We made it clear . . . there should be no return to a hard border on the island.” Photograph: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images

US congress ‘will not endorse trade deal’ with Britain if peace agreement is weakened

Leo Varadkar: hopes Mr Johnson ‘proves to be true to his word as’ Theresa May was. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Taoiseach expresses desire to meet new PM soon and reiterates position on backstop

 Adare Manor and golf course.  Junior Sports Minister Brendan Griffin praised the “huge work and dedication” of JP McManus for bringing the event to the Limerick venue. Photograph: PA Wire

Varadkar stresses the tourism and economic benefits the massive golfing event will bring when it takes place in Adare Manor in Co (...)

New prime minister Boris Johnson speaks to media outside Number 10, Downing Street on July 24th. Photograph:  Leon Neal/Getty

Varadkar quick to dismiss Johnson’s request for new Brexit deal as ‘not going to happen’

If Boris Johnson continues with the campaign rhetoric, we will be on course for a no-deal. Photograph: EPA/Neil Hall

Will Boris the prime minister strike a different note from Boris the candidate?

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