>> The Irish government is teetering on the verge of collapse and facing a possible snap election, threatening to put another stumbling block in the path of Brexit negotiations. The Republic of Ireland's second largest party announcing on Thursday it would table a vote of no confidence against the Deputy Prime Minister.
Reuters Padraic Halpin says it's plunged the government into a political standoff.>> It's about a crisis over a police whistle blower which has been ongoing in the background for two years in Ireland but came to a head yesterday when the main opposition party backed a motion of no confidence in Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister.
>> The move breaches a cooperation agreement with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. His minority government relies from votes from opposition Fine Gael to pass legislation. Now the crisis comes three weeks ahead of an EU summit in which the Irish government is set to play a leading role. It has an effective veto on whether talks on Brixit can move on and if a snap election is called next week, Dublin could be attending the talks with a caretaker Prime Minister.
>> The hardest issue to crack right now is the Irish border and just yesterday, the Irish Prime Minister said that Ireland isn't ready to move unto the next stage. It's clear that if Dublin has to, it will use its veto to keep the talks in this phase going into the new year.
>> The crossing between northern and southern Ireland will be the UK's only land frontier with the bloc after it leaves. A deal on the subject is one of three preconditions set by Brussels for moving on to trade talks. And while both sides say they want the frontier to stay open, there's still no agreement on how that might be done.