The European Commission has proposed using emergency funds normally reserved for natural disasters and to offset the harsh effects of globalisation in order to help countries badly hit by a no-deal Brexit.

Brussels has said that up to €600 million could be made available to countries and sectors exceptionally hit by a no-deal departure.

The Commission has proposed using the EU Solidarity Fund, which is normally used for floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters, and the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which can be accessed by member states where large numbers of workers have been laid off due to the effects of globalisation.

However, the funds could be calibrated to only help sectors and businesses where the effects were unforeseen, and would not necessarily be made available where businesses and stakeholders could have completed their own preparations but failed to do so.

The Commission has said that even in the event of no-deal a special funding stream to support the Northern Ireland peace process known as the PEACE II fund will continue for a limited time.

However, Northern Ireland will not be able to avail of all the other funding sources that are being compiled to cope with a no-deal Brexit as the UK would be leaving the EU.

Today's communication also makes it clear that Ireland will have to comply with all the checks and controls that come with membership of the single market and customs union.

The document states: "EU law will require that all goods entering Ireland from the United Kingdom be subject to the relevant checks and controls to protect the safety and health of EU citizens, preserve the integrity of the internal market and enforce compliance with fiscal obligations (duties, indirect taxes)."

The paper says the Commission and Ireland are "working together", given the unique circumstances on the island, of ways to protect the single market "while avoiding a hard border".

These unspecified measures would apply in the "immediate aftermath" of a no-deal Brexit and would ensure "a more stable solution for the period thereafter".

The communication states: "The backstop provided for by the Withdrawal Agreement is the only solution identified that safeguards the Good Friday Agreement, ensures compliance with international law obligations and preserves the integrity of the internal market."

The Commission has already said that financial supports would be made available for the agri-food sector in Ireland, which is significantly exposed to a no-deal disruption.

Arrangements both for contingency solutions for the immediate aftermath of a withdrawal without an agreement and for a more stable solution for the period thereafter.