Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will appoint negotiating teams this week

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have agreed to press ahead with talks on a new Confidence and Supply deal.

After a meeting this evening, Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin announced that they would appoint negotiation teams in the coming days, with talks due to begin next week.

Deputy Martin has insisted that the talks must include a comprehensive review of the effect of the deal over the last three years.

For his part, Mr Varadkar has called for an extension until 2020 – and suggested a deal could be in place by the Halloween break.

Speaking in Dublin today, Deputy Martin said he would not allow the Taoiseach to dictate timelines – and will not enter talks with pre-conditions.

“I don’t want to get into any more timelines of, ‘is it going to be this month or that month,’” he said.

“It is going to be a substantive review; it has to be detailed and it has to be substantive.

“I have made my position clear; I am not going to be governed by timelines.

“The Taoiseach and myself spoke last Tuesday on this. He agreed with me that there be no pre-conditions and I am not accepting any.

Both leaders have already agreed that neither side should bring down the Government while Brexit talks remain in the balance.