Leo Varadkar wants two more years of Fianna Fáil deal

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Leo Varadkar said Fine Gael is very honest about the difficulties the country is facing

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has said he wants the country's main opposition party Fianna Fáil to commit to two more years of its confidence and supply deal with the government.

He also wants them to agree to a general election in 2020.

In 2016, an Irish government was formed following an inconclusive general election and weeks of negotiation.

Fianna Fáil agreed to support the Fine Gael government for three budgets and in confidence motions.

Speaking to reporters in Drogheda on Saturday, the Taoiseach Mr Varadkar said: "There is a lot of uncertainty which is going to arise over the next few months, particularly with respect to Brexit and a lot of other things around the world."

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin will be asked to support the current government until 2020

Mr Varadkar was responding to the Fianna Fáil deputy leader, Dara Calleary, who told the Irish Times that his party should back the government only for one more budget.

Mr Calleary said that such a deal could only be secured if Fine Gael was "more honest" about where it has fallen down in areas such as housing and health.

However, Mr Varadkar said: "I think that Fine Gael and the government is very honest about the difficulties that the country is facing. We are very aware of them."

The taoiseach said he would be meeting the Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin before the Dail (parliament) returns next month and they would discuss the issue of an extension to the confidence-and-supply deal then.