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Michael Gove congratulates 'taoiseach-elect Micheál Martin' in House of Commons

Martin could be taoiseach in the next fortnight but Gove has gotten his congrats in early.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

CABINET OFFICE MINISTER Michael Gove has congratulated “taoiseach-elect Micheál Martin” during a debate in the UK’s House of Commons.

Martin, who could be nominated as taoiseach within the next fortnight, is set to lead the country more than nine years after becoming Fianna Fáil leader. 

Parliamentary party members from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens yesterday endorsed a joint programme for government with the membership of each party now set to decide whether to ratify that deal. 

If that happens Martin would be expected to elected as taoiseach as soon as Saturday June 27 or Monday June 29

Despite a degree of uncertainty over this plan, Gove perhaps jumped the gun to take the opportunity to congratulate Martin on behalf of the British government. 

Speaking in response to a question from the SDLP’s Belfast South MP Claire Hanna about Covid-19 contact tracing on the island of Ireland, Gove said: 

It is important on the island of Ireland that we continue to share information. We’ve had a very good working relationship with the government. I’d like also to congratulate Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party for agreeing a programme for government and I wish the new taoiseach-elect Micheál Martin all the very best in the shared work that we engage in in dealing with Covid-19. 

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During her question, Hanna said there was a “growing unease across the island of Ireland” about the prospect of a no-deal trade exit at the end of this year. 

Last week the UK government announced it would not seek an extension to the post-Brexit transition period beyond 31 December.

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Rónán Duffy

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