Micheál Martin pens letter to Leo Varadkar asking him not to force a general election before Brexit
'I think it best if we both state upfront that we both agree not to bring down the government.'
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has written directly to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in light of upcoming Brexit negotiations, seeking a united front.
Martin immediately requests that both men agree "not to bring down the government" as a critical period for Irish and UK politics draws near.
The letter was sent to Varadkar on Friday afternoon, several hours after the latest Red C poll showed a huge increase in public support for Martin's party.
Martin played down talk of a general election, arguing that the timing would "create a dangerous instability" if it coincided with the regularly shifting Brexit situation.
The full letter can be read below.
"In light of recent developments and as we head into this critical period on Brexit, I think it best if we both state upfront, irrespective of what happens during the Confidence and Supply review process, that we both agree not to bring down the government.
"We should both agree to continue to pass the Finance Bill and other legislation at least up to the point where, whatever is agreed by the European Council on Brexit, in the coming months, has cleared the critical hurdle of ratification by the House of Commons and European Parliament.
"The Irish people would, I am sure you agree, be rightly concerned at any risk that a general election campaign would have on these talks at such a crucial period and an uncertain post-election situation.
"An election during this critical time would create a dangerous instability during a period when the Brexit deal could be derailed by the constantly changing situation in Westminster.
"I am available to discuss this further if you so wish.
"Yours sincerely, Micheál Martin."
Martin appeared on The Late Late Show last month, opining that the Taoiseach lacks humility and is "obsessed" with his relationship with the media.
"He operates differently," he offered when host Ryan Tubridy attempted to contrast the two political figures.
"I think he's very obsessed in terms of the media presentation. Everything is through the lens of how it's perceived," Martin added.
He recalled a meeting between the pair in Killarney during the summer in which they discussed plans to work together in respect of the confidence-and-supply arrangement throughout the remainder of the year and would meet again to iron things out.
"The following day, there was a big front page headline - 'Leo tells Micheál he wants two more years' - now, I don't do business that way and I think that he could do with a degree more humility, maybe."