Irish leaders in last-minute talks to avoid early elections



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LONDON – The ruling party and the main opposition in Ireland are holding last minute talks to avoid the collapse of the government just when it faces a crucial moment in the Brexit negotiations.

Irish lawmakers will vote a motion of no confidence against the deputy prime minister presented by the opposition party Fianna Fail.

Fianna Fail wants deputy of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Frances Fitzgerald, overthrown for his involvement in a long-standing police scandal.

Varadkar's Fine Gael party backs Fitzgerald, but if his minority government loses the vote, Ireland will face early elections.

Varadkar and Fianna Fail, leader of Michael Martin is scheduled to hold talks on Tuesday.

A key EU summit looms from December 14 to 15, and Ireland is pressing Britain to explain how it can keep the Ireland-Northern Ireland border free of customs posts and other barriers in the Brexit stern.

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