Millions of euro have been set aside for a stepped-up inspection regime as Ireland gears up for Brexit.
Food safety, agricultural and customs inspectors are to be appointed in an effort to build “resilience” to the shock of British departure from the EU.
Extra money has also been allocated by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to support small businesses training for the red tape they will encounter trading with Britain after next March’s divorce.
He increased funding for the PEACE programme which boosts community groups around the Irish border.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said: “The decisions announced by minister Donohoe today to balance the country’s books, to establish our rainy day fund and to invest in key domestic infrastructure, including our ports and airport, will help ensure Ireland is ready for whatever change Brexit brings.”
Extra money was also provided to help offset the effects of Brexit on tourism businesses.
Mr Coveney said: “Minister Donohoe’s 22- or 23-page budget speech this year was a long speech with a lot in it.
“You will have noticed that virtually every page Brexit gets a mention and that is because across multiple Government departments and across multiple agencies we are focused on ensuring that we do everything within our power to anticipate and plan for the change that may be coming linked to our closest neighbours leaving the EU and the consequences of that.
“We will be spending hundreds of millions of euro preparing for the creation of as much resilience as we can create across the Irish economy for the new realities that we face.”
Mr Donohoe announced more than €110m for Brexit-related measures across a number of Departments.
He also launched a future growth loan scheme for small and medium-sized businesses and the agriculture and food sector;
- Press Association