Published On: Thu, Oct 31st, 2019

Varadkar blunder: Ireland’s Taoiseach will regret ruling out election, warns ex-diplomat | World | News

Ireland’s leader was widely reported to be under intense pressure from his colleagues to call a snap pre-Christmas general election which would see the country go to the polls next month – possibly on November 29 – but today ruled out doing so, citing the continued risk of a chaotic British exit from the . However, , Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, suggested it might not have been a bad idea.

Mr Bassett said: “He must be tempted. He is cautious by nature but there is clearly a good opportunity to go for an election now.

“He would be well advised to take that opportunity.

, the main opposition party, have just suffered a scandal about their Dail members’ voting irregularities.

“There are internal rows within that party and they have dipped in the polls.”

Moreover, the deal which had effectively struck with Mr Johnson earlier this month had yet to be scrutinised in any depth by the Irish public, Mr Bassett said.

He explained: “Leo has gotten away with one of the biggest u-turns of recent years in Irish politics by ditching the backstop.

READ MORE: Corbyn taking UK public for ‘FOOLS’ after he blames Boris Johnson

“The public have not really realised that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is essentially temporary and will in the next two years be replaced by a free trade agreement.

“The issues which dogged the discussions will again come and Boris, if elected with a working majority in Parliament, will be in a much stronger position

“If I was in Leo’s shoes, I would go for an election.”

Mr Varadkar has been urged to call an election roughly coinciding with the UK one scheduled for December 12 in order to take advantage of a three-month delay to Britain’s EU exit, now scheduled for January 31 – but has said he will not do so.

He told journalists in Dublin: “We could find ourselves in a difficult period between December 12 and January 31 not knowing if the Brexit agreement will be ratified, not knowing if the new British Government may seek renegotiation, potentially even facing into the risk of a no-deal Brexit on January 31.

Mr is believed to informed ministers of his decision at a pre-cabinet meeting yesterday.

The expectation now is the Irish government will stick with its preference for an election in May 2020.

Mr Varadkar’s minority government, run via a cooperation deal with Fianna Fail, was supposed to last only until the end of 2018.

However, its lifespan was extended as Dublin took on a pivotal role in talks.

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