Opposition parties have called on the Government to explain exactly what the EU agreements struck in Brussels overnight will mean for Ireland.

The package includes €750 billion in grants and loans to counter the effects of the Covid-19-induced recession.  

The leaders also agreed a trillion-euro budget for the next seven years. 

The Irish Farmers' Association has criticised the allocation of funds under the new Common Agricultural Policy.

The new CAP budget is substantially less than was originally proposed.

Following the announcements in Brussels, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was satisfied there was significant funding to protect the CAP, thus enabling Irish farmers to continue to provide high quality food.

President of the IFA Tim Cullinan called on the Government to give a clear commitment that payments to farmers will at least be maintained in real terms over the next two years when the new CAP comes into operation and beyond.

Sinn Féin Spokesman on Agriculture Matt Carthy said the CAP and the rural development aspect of it had taken a huge hit.

Leader of the Labour Party Alan Kelly said the deal struck by EU leaders failed to rise to the challenge of Covid-19. 

Chief Executive of the group that represents Irish business, Ibec, Danny McCoy welcomed the establishment of a €5bn Special Brexit Reserve Fund for countries most affected by the UK's departure from the EU.

It comes as Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne said the European Union Covid-19 recovery package "shows Europe can come together" and will give certainty to citizens and to businesses.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland he said the deal has specific and substantial benefits for Ireland as an export nation that relies so much on a strong European economy.

European Union leaders reached the "historic" deal on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-hit economies at a pre-dawn meeting after a summit that lasted almost five days.

The €750bn deal was sealed after intense negotiation that saw a threats of a French walkout and a Hungarian veto - and fierce opposition from the Netherlands and Austria to too generous a package.

Taoiseach Martin said he was particularly pleased that there was significant funding to protect the Common Agricultural Policy and welcomed a €5bn reserve fund to support countries worst affected by the impact of Brexit.

Mr Byrne said the fund will be proposed by the Commission later this year and into next year.

He said that while it is not yet clear how much the final package will cost us, Ireland will pay in more than it receives, which "does reflect our strong economic growth and our participation in the single market" which is of huge overall benefit to the economy.


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He said the Covid-19 recovery funds are needed now and while it is difficult to estimate what we will contribute, we will be gaining back from the EU budget in direct grants and loans.

Mr Byrne said it is critically important to have an agreement to reboot the European economy in the post-Covid period and to ensure the European budget is protected and enhanced for the next seven years. 

He said the CAP gets a special allocation of €300 million in recognition of the challenges the farming sector faces.

He said he hopes Ireland will receive a significant benefit and be top of the list for an allocation of funds under the Brexit adjustment fund, adding that this is "a really important instrument for us..as there are very few countries as affected by [Brexit] as we are".

Mr Byrne said the key benefits are to business and jobs in making sure all of Europe is working well together and the economy can be rebooted.

He said while there was a cut to the just transition fund late in the negotiations, it is still more than double what was proposed at the start of the year and he hopes that an allocation from this fund will benefit the peat lands of Ireland.