Ireland’s deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald resigned on Tuesday averting snap elections.

Mrs Fitzgerald is accused of allowing the discrediting of a police officer that had acted as a whistle-blower. Fitzgerald says the officer, Maurice McCabe, is “distinguished” and denies any wrongdoing.

Leo Varadkar’s minority government was given an ultimatum by the opposition party Fianna Fail to dismiss Fitzgerald or face a no confidence motion. Varadkar was bracing for snap elections before her resignation.

Over the weekend, analysts were expecting to go to the polls on December 19, only days after the crucial European Summit of December 14-15.

It is now thought Ireland may still not avoid elections, but not before the first months of 2018.

The UK is Ireland’s biggest trading partner and has an enormous stake in the future of Brexit negotiations. Dublin is demanding written guarantees that Ireland will not experience a hard border as a result of Brexit.