UK prime minister Theresa May has agreed to discuss a timetable in June to choose her successor.
It is expected Ms May could stand down if she loses a fresh Westminster vote on Brexit next month. However, a new British government leader will not alter Brexit or trigger a reopening of negotiations with the EU, Irish Government figures say.
Developments prompted former foreign secretary Boris Johnson to declare his candidacy. High-profile appearances from government members Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, and Dominic Raab has also buoyed speculation that they will run.
Ms May agreed to outline the path for her departure next month after meeting conservative MPs. She has come under fresh pressure to leave Downing Street amid the Brexit impasse and poor results for the Conservatives in local elections.
A Government spokesman here says the issue is one for internal British politics. Privately, figures ruled out any chance of a new Conservative leader succeeding in reopening Brexit talks.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney told the BBC last week a change of leadership would not change things, saying: “This is not a personality-based issue.”
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Irish Examiner last night he hoped any leadership process would not complicate Brexit further.
“Clearly the internal politics of the British Conservative Party are a matter for them, but my hope is that as this process moves forward, everyone involved works to ensure that no further instability is introduced to the already strained and difficult Brexit politics of the UK,” he said.