A €5bn Brexit reserve fund has been proposed by European Council president Charles Michel as part of a COVID-19 recovery plan.

“Brexit is challenging for all of us and that is why we propose a Brexit reserve of €5bn.

“We would create this reserve in order to counter the unforeseen consequences in the most affected member states and sectors,” he said on Friday.

News of the €5bn Brexit package comes after the latest round of EU-UK trade talks, which were considered to be a low-key affair.

Ireland most affected

IFA president Tim Cullinan welcomed the proposed fund, saying that the IFA has always said there would have to be a dedicated EU Brexit contingency fund to deal with all scenarios, up to a no-deal outcome, as it would devastate the agriculture sector.

“By virtue of our location, Ireland is the most affected by the impact of Brexit. Our farming and food sector is particularly exposed given our export profile to the UK.

“The extent of the support required by Irish farmers depends on the outcome of the current negotiations with the UK and the damage to our position on the UK market,” he said.

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