Irish election set for February
In a statement released this morning, Varadkar said there exists a window of opportunity to hold a General Election and to have a new government in place before the next European Council meeting in March with a strong mandate to focus on Brexit negotiations into the summer and autumn.
He said: “The next step is to negotiate a free trade agreement between the EU including Ireland and the United Kingdom that protects our jobs, our businesses, our rural communities and our economy. The capacity to do everything else that needs to be done - health, housing, climate action, tax reform - depends on achieving this outcome. And, it has to be done by the end of the year.”
Meanwhile Fianna Fail’s Micheál Martin has congratulated his “colleague and friend” Nichola Mallon on her appointment as Minister for Infrastructure in the Northern Ireland Executive.
Fianna Fail, the largest opposition party in the Republic, and Mallon’s SDLP party formed a ‘partnership’ in 2019.
Speaking on her first day in the job Mallon said: “I am also looking forward to working collaboratively with our stakeholders and partners, whose input, ideas and perspectives I will want to encourage. I am determined that the department will adopt a collaborative approach, based on building genuine partnerships, as we work together to deliver a sustainable infrastructure that supports the region’s economic wellbeing and indeed improved wellbeing for all.”