As Ireland faces its most crucial weeks in decades, with the Brexit deadline on the nation’s border fast approaching, a shock government collapse in Dublin appears to have given Theresa May an unexpected boost.

Ireland has consistently played hardball with the UK on the sensitive issue of the post- border between the Republic and the north of Ireland, leaving Theresa May and her Brexit ministers scrambling to progress in EU talks.

But a surprise collapse in the fragile minority-led Irish government has left the country on the brink of a general election just three weeks before next month’s key EU summit.

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