The Irish government will offer Ireland's beef industry "substantial amounts of money" and relax state aid rules in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the country's deputy prime minister said on Thursday. "This morning farming communities are waking up to the story on the front of the Irish Independent".
Reports in the Irish media have suggested that the United Kingdom is threatening to favour Brazilian beef over Irish using a system of tariffs and quotas, something that could result in low-cost beef flooding the market.
Word Trade Organisation tariffs are now applied to Brazilian beef imports to the UK.
"Leaving Brexit aside the beef sector is under enormous pressure".
He said all they're seeing is a government who takes the attitude that "it will be alright on the night".
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit, Mayo TD Lisa Chambers, says she's very concerned that the Irish beef industry could be decimated in a no deal Brexit.
"We have been speaking to the European Commission very directly, we have made it very clear, and the Commission has made it clear they will support us, and support the sector to ensure that it survives and comes through a Brexit transition".
Coveney responded to this by saying: "We have heard different rumours coming out of the United Kingdom at different stages". "At one point we were being informed that the United Kingdom was looking at no tariffs at all, and then we were told that Michael Gove was going to apply WTO tariffs, and then we were told about tariff free quotas".
If this comes to pass and Irish beef is forced to compete in the United Kingdom market against cheaper imports from other countries, she fears thousands of jobs will be lost.
Mr Coveney said the Government would step in to help the beef sector if there is a no-deal Brexit.
"This Government will not be found wanting in supporting and working with this sector through a very hard period, should a no-deal Brexit materialise", he said.