Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, will go into next month’s crucial European summit on Brexit without the fear of a general election at home after one of his key allies resigned from the cabinet hours before a parliamentary vote that would have led to the collapse of the government in Dublin.
Varadkar’s deputy, Frances Fitzgerald, offered her resignation at lunchtime on Tuesday, thus averting a vote of no confidence that could have brought down the minority Fine Gael-led coalition. Fitzgerald’s decision to stand down brought Ireland back from the brink of a pre-Christmas election and gives Varadkar a freer hand to enter critical negotiations on Brexit, the Irish border and the future relationship between the EU and the UK at the summit in December. She has been under intense pressure over her handling of information about the treatment of a police whistleblower who made allegations of corruption and malpractice in the Garda Síochána.(theguardian)…[+]