Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed told a seminar, organised by Impact and Siptu on the implications of Brexit for agri-food, the government would aim to secure a deal which would decrease the risk of job losses on the isle.
Trade Unions have pushed for the Irish government to seek funding from the European Union to protect the 167,000 food industry jobs that could come under risk if divorce talks turn sour and a hard border is created between the UK and the rest of Europe.
Almost 10 per cent of the Republic’s jobs is sustained by food and agriculture sector, 40 per cent of which is exported to the UK.
Ireland wants unfettered access to the UK market after Brexit
The minister also said Government’s long-term priority was ensuring unfettered access to the UK market without tariff.
Mr Creed’s suggestion the Irish Government would push for a good deal came after he described Berxit as “one of the most significant challenges Irish agri-food, farming and fisheries have faced since the foundation of the State”.
A Danish MEP has warned Brussels against trying to get revenge of the UK for exiting the bloc, as any punishment handed out to Britain would also affect Ireland.
Speaking to Express.co.uk Anders Vistisen, of the Danish People's Party, said a hard-line approach could cause other members states to abandon the union.
Every time you punish Britain, you punish Ireland
Mr Vistisen said: “In the European Parliament there is this sentiment of being angry, being disappointed in the British.
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“But let’s be honest, the member states know that we are dependent on each other in security matters, and also in trade matters.
“From a Danish point of view, we would lose one of our biggest trading parties, same thing for Germany, same thing for the Netherlands and Belgium.
“Especially Ireland I think will be a moderating factor here because every time you punish Britain, you punish Ireland also.
In pictures: Theresa May meets with EU's Tusk Thu, April 6, 2017
The two leaders held talks on Brexit negotiations
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European Council President Donald Tusk gestures to members of the media as he leaves 10 Downing street after talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in central London
“Ireland is still a member of the European Union and when people think twice about this they’ll [realise] it would not be very wise to push Ireland towards also leaving the European Union.”
It comes as new plans being drawn up in Brussels suggest the UK could be given temporary admission to a trade group so it can continue to do business with the EU after it leaves.
With temporary membership the UK could apply for membership in the European Economic Area (EEA) – and gain free access the EU’s single market.