The Irish government may be in danger following a motion of no confidence made against the Deputy Prime Minister, Frances Fitzgerald by the opposition.
The crisis comes mere weeks ahead of an important summit meeting of the European Union. The Irish government is expected to have an effective veto at the summit which could decide the future of Britain’s talks on leaving the bloc progress.
Ireland is likely to determine if the Union’s concerns about the future of the Irish border are valid.
The major break came after the opposing Fianna Fail party passed a motion of no confidence against Ireland’s current Deputy Prime Minister, Frances Fitzgerald on Tuesday. It cited Fitzgerald’s handling of a police whistleblower case as the reason behind its vote.
The motion effectively breaks the three year “confidence and supply” agreement which allowed the ruling Fine Gael party to form a minority government back in 2016 on the backs of nine independent members of parliament.
The deal has worked well and ensured smooth sailing for Varadkar’s government- until now. The breakdown of the deal will likely lead to a new election which could be scheduled for December or January.
Initially, the opposition hinted that it might withdraw the motion if Fitzgerald resigned.
Speaking of the issue at the time, Fianna Fail justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan pointed out that neither side desired a general election.
However, the ruling government refused to accept the opposition’s terms with Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney stating Fitzgerald would not resign
He further added that the government would “stand by” her.
He added that Ireland was approaching a dangerous time in its political climate and stated the country did not “need” an election at this juncture.
The “danger” Coveney referred could be the European Unit summit which is scheduled for December of this year.