Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys was unavailable for interview when contacted by the Irish Farmers Journal.

However on Monday, she told the RTÉ News at One: “I fully appreciate and recognise the concerns that beef farmers have in relation to the deal.

“But I think it’s important that we recognise that this deal isn’t all bad and in fact there are significant benefits for Ireland and for Irish exporters in other sectors, such as business services, chemicals, machinery, medical devices and dairy, and the agreement will see a significant reduction or the elimination of tariffs and barriers to trade for these sectors.”

She added: “We’re going to have to carry out a comprehensive economic assessment of all aspects of the deal to determine if this is going to be a win or a lose for our economy.”