Micheál Martin: Confidence and Supply review must be substantive

Update - 1pm: Talks on underpinning the Government must be “substantive”, Micheal Micheál has said.

The Fianna Fáil leader highlighted what he termed a “critical delivery deficit” on housing, health, broadband and Brexit preparations.

It must be substantive. It must push aside the increasingly empty PR of government claims and deliver a serious review of the critical policies which are of most concern to the public

Mr Martin said: “We are setting no new conditions and we will agree to no new conditions or deadlines.

“The review must be as we have anticipated from when it was agreed two-and-a-half years ago.

“It must be substantive. It must push aside the increasingly empty PR of government claims and deliver a serious review of the critical policies which are of most concern to the public.”

He addressed the Wolfe Tone commemoration in Bodenstown, Co Kildare.

Mr Martin said: “We have guaranteed stability in the coming months because of the critical phase of the Brexit negotiations, so unless the Taoiseach decides otherwise there is no danger of Ireland being caught without a functioning parliament and stable government due to an election campaign and lengthy government formation period.

“Our focus is on delivering stability until the risk of a no-deal Brexit or a major last-minute change is overcome.

“We are entering the review in good faith. If the Government matches this good faith it can be a constructive process.”

Fine Gael is pressing for speedy completion of the talks.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he wants to see another election in summer 2020.

Earlier: Fianna Fáil appoints team to review Confidence and Supply agreement

The Fianna Fáil team that will conduct the review of the Confidence and Supply agreement with Fine Gael has been named.

Michael McGrath and Dara Calleary will be part of the review team.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin announced today that the review team will include the party's deputy leader Dara Calleary, Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath, Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers and Agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.

Yesterday Fine Gael confirmed that Ministers Simon Coveney, Pascal Donohue and Regina Doherty, along with the Parliamentary Party Chairman Martin Heydon, would lead the discussions for their party.

The agreement which props up the government is due to be reviewed at the end of the year, and Fianna Fáil says it will begin that process next week.

Mr Martin wrote to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last week calling for the Confidence and Supply Agreement to be upheld.

The Taoiseach said yesterday that he is looking forward to talks aimed at the renewal of the deal.

In a statement, Mr Varadkar pinpointed issues like Brexit, housing and healthcare as key areas the government wants to focus on.

He said Fine Gael are entering into the talks in "good faith with no preconditions."

PA & Digital Desk

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