Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been warned that it would be a "serious and potentially very costly mistake" if his Government tries to ram through Budget legislation in order to hold a November general election.

The warning came this evening from Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman Michael McGrath.

It follows speculation that Fine Gael may seek to go to the country now that the Brexit deadline has been extended until 31 January.

In a post on Twitter, Mr McGrath said: "Attempting to ram the Finance Bill... because some FG Ministers believe they will gain an electoral advantage in a pre Christmas election, would be a serious and potentially very costly mistake for the government to make."

Last month, Mr Varadkar told his parliamentary party meeting in Cork that May 2020 was the "right moment" for a general election because the Government would have either secured a Brexit deal or have "guided the country through the worst of no-deal".