Ireland’s government looks set to collapse after the party propping it up submitted a motion of no confidence in the deputy prime minister in violation of a three-year support agreement.
The domestic crisis has hit just weeks ahead of a European Union summit on Britain’s plans to leave the EU, a large portion of which hinges on Irish issues.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is due to play a major role in the December 14-15 summit, telling EU leaders whether Ireland believes sufficient progress has been made on the future border between Ireland and Britain’s province of Northern Ireland.
The head of opposition party Fianna Fail Micheal Martin told state broadcaster RTE his party had submitted a motion of no-confidence in Deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald over her handling of a legal case involving a police whistleblower.
Martin said an election “can be avoided if the government takes action” by asking Fitzgerald to resign. The government on Friday said this would not happen, making an election all but inevitable.