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Donohoe: No-deal Brexit would have 'immediate and negative' impact on economy

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said a no-deal Brexit will have a “sudden, immediate and negative” impact on the economy but that Ireland is currently in a “strong position”.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting today and an update on the Brexit negotiations, Mr Donohoe also said he had meet Revenue and Central Bank authorities today about the implications of a no-deal.

New electronic customs arrangements for a no-deal were being finalised, he said, and the recruitment of another 400 officials would be complete by the end of this month.

A €200m EU rescue fund to help firms restructure here has already been agreed, said Mr Donohoe, and other state aid resources would be examined when the situation around Brexit becomes clearer.

Ireland's EU membership was the country's “greatest protection,” added Mr Donohoe.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said talks were ongoing to agree on a deal, ahead of key votes in Westminster this week.

He also confirmed that British prime minister Theresa May will fly to Strasbourg this evening to discuss options with EU officials.

Mr Coveney reiterated that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement could not be changed but that Ireland wanted to provide reassurances to Britain that it would not be somehow “trapped” with the Irish backstop in the customs union or single market.

The update comes as senior and junior ministers prepare to travel the globe for their traditional St Patrick's Day visits.

A key message ministers would deliver to other nations, said Mr Coveney, was the importance of the North's peace process.