FILE PHOTO: Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Ministry of Finance in Dublin

World- Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced a 1.2-billion-euro (1.3-billion-dollar) package of measures to help Irish businesses if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal.

"These are times without precedent," Donohoe told the Irish parliament. "This is a budget that has been prepared in the shadow of Brexit."

"With just 23 days to go, the decisions I will announce today have been informed by the possibility of a no-deal Brexit," he said.

There would be 200 million euros in extra funding for ports, airports and the technology management required to prepare for Brexit, Donohoe said.

"If there is a no-deal Brexit, there will be 950 million euros in borrowed money to assist agricultural, enterprise and tourism sectors.

"If a no-deal does not happen, the money will not be borrowed," he added.

The government has selected 110 enterprises that were "vulnerable, but viable" for targeted interventions. These were businesses operating within food, manufacturing and internationally traded services, he said.

The beef industry, the fishing industry, and tourism would be given special priority.

No deal is not inevitable, Donohoe said, but the country must be prepared for it.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's centre-right Fine Gael minority government is reliant on the support of opposition Fianna Fail. Donohoe thanked the Fianna Fail for supporting the budget.

IOL