Leo Varadkar has warned difficulties in forming a government in the Republic of Ireland could directly impact Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal.
A general election is due to take place in the Republic on 8 February.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the Irish prime minister said it was “all to play for” after several polls put the major parties “neck and neck”.
He added that he called the election so a government could be in place before the European Council meeting in March.
At the meeting, Fine Gael’s Phil Hogan will be leading the trade negotiations as the EU’s commissioner for trade.
“I know that’s something the Irish people will reflect on when they go to the polls at the weekend – the need to have a stable government