DUBLIN: Ireland is preparing its 2020 budget on the basis that Britain will crash out of the EU in a no-deal Brexit, finance minister Paschal Donohoe said Wednesday.
"Basing budget 2020 on the assumption of a no-deal Brexit is a sensible budgetary strategy and one that the government intends to follow," said Donohoe.
"A no deal Brexit will have profound implications for Ireland on all levels. These include macroeconomic, trade and sectoral challenges, both immediately and in the longer term."
Donohoe's remarks offer the clearest indication yet the Irish government considers a no-deal the most likely outcome of Britain's divorce project with the EU.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to "do or die" Brexit on October 31, whether or not a withdrawal agreement has been ratified to dampen the effects of the split.
"Given the uncertainty and lack of clarity regarding the timing and format that the United Kingdom exit will take, preparing for a no deal Brexit is the most sensible and it is the safest option," Donohoe told reporters.
As Britain's closest trading partner Ireland stands to have 55,000 fewer citizens in work and a GDP diminished by six percentage points in case of a no-deal Brexit, according to government figures.
The 2.8 billion euro ($3.08 billion) 2020 budget package will contain expenditure schemes designed to shore up sectors most exposed to Brexit fallout, likely to include agriculture and manufacturing.