The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure has said that preparations for a no-deal Brexit have the highest priority across Government, and that Ireland is facing "potentially volatile circumstances". 

Paschal Donohoe said the Government's contingency action plan sets out in detail the analysis and risks of a no-deal outcome across key issues and sectors, with extensive work ongoing to mitigate those risks.

Speaking in the Dáil, he said the Government has already taken steps in the last three budgets and confirmed extra funding would be made available in the event of a no-deal Brexit in the upcoming budget.

"My objective is to be outlining a set of supports that are available, only in the event of a no deal setting. In relation to the magnitude of the supports, while it would be up to each minister to outline the detail of how the funding would be made available, what I will be doing on Budget Day is announcing the overall framework and the figures that are against that."

When asked by Fianna Fail Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath if resources would go beyond €2.8 billion in the budget if there is a no-deal Brexit, he said they would.

"Your repeated question whether the resources would go beyond €2.8 billion if we are in a no deal setting, the answer to that question is yes.

"The consequences of dealing with more people becoming unemployed or the consequences of supporting parts of a sector would mean reducing a surplus that we would otherwise have and move into what I would aim to be a temporary deficit," he said.

Mr Donohoe said there has been engagement with the European Commission and that one of the main issues that has to be considered in a no-deal setting, is how Ireland can give assurances that Irish exports are consumed as Irish exports elsewhere in the single market.

He said that work is ongoing with the Commission.

Mr Donohoe also said that if a no-deal Brexit takes place the parts of our country and our economy that may well feel the most consequences are the fishing communities and the fishing industry overall.