A joint statement has been issued by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil following further talks on a joint policy document on government formation.

"Both parties met today, and made progress on the draft document. This will be finalised shortly, and both leaders will consider it early next week."

Earlier, Fianna Fáil programme for government negotiator Michael McGrath has said some re-drafting work would take place on a joint policy document over the weekend.

Mr McGrath said both sides had made "some really good progress today."

He added that work would continue over the weekend but that he was "pretty confident" it would be concluded by "early next week."

The document will then be presented to their leaders, Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin.

Fine Gael negotiator and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said today that both parties have a "shared realisation" that the economy the next government will inherit will be "fundamentally different", due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At a news conference in Dublin, he said the numbers on people now on the Live Register, and the fact that the exchequer is running a deficit rather than a surplus, illustrate how Ireland's economic position is now fundamentally different compared to just a few months ago.

Mr Donohoe said that Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar was well aware of what was in the document, but both he and the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin would have to ensure they were "happy with any changes" which may be made today.

Mr Donohoe said he hoped there would be enough in the joint document to convince the Greens, Labour and the Social Democrats to talk to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil about joining a government.

Yesterday, Micheál Martin described the document as robust, and argued that the new economic circumstances required the election of a majority government, which could take what "decisive actions".

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