Irish farmers could be compensated by the European Union for a collapse in beef and dairy prices in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the Irish edition of the Sunday Times newspaper. The article published on February 3 quoted Irish government and EU sources.

Under these plans, farmers would be in line for hundreds of millions of euros in emergency aid to offset a market collapse and the loss of British customers.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, with close trading links with Britain, especially in labour intensive sectors like agri-food, Ireland’s export-led economy is considered the most vulnerable of the remaining 27 European Union members to a disruptive exit by its neighbour.

The details of the scheme were finalised between Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the commission’s agriculture chief Phil Hogan, the Sunday Times reported.

A spokesman for Creed said the two met last week to discuss the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit on the Irish agri-food and fisheries sectors.

In a statement, the minister said he had stressed the need to deploy market response measures, including exceptional aid, and that Commissioner Hogan reiterated the EU’s readiness to respond and support Ireland.

A spokesperson for the Commission could not immediately be reached for comment.