Michael Noonan, the Irish finance minister, said the amount of money Ireland sets aside for a contingency plan could be limited if Britain chooses to leave the European Union on Thursday (23 June).

A Brexit scenario could see Ireland's gross domestic product shrink by as much as 1.6%, Noonan said, although he added the hit would be "containable" and he would not force him to knock his spending and tax plans "out of the ball park".

On Tuesday (21 June), Noonan had outlined plans to cut tax and increase spending by approximately €8bn (£6.2bn, $9.1bn) within the next five years, while saving 1bn each year in the contingency fund from 2019 once the country's budget is balanced.

"We may not have as much for the rainy day fund," Noonan was quoted as saying by Irish broadcaster RTE when asked about the fund the Irish government plans to set aside to prevent a new financial crisis.

Noonan, however, warned that a new financial downturn could place Ireland's minority government under severe strain, which might not be sustainable in the long-term.

"If we hit bad times again, I don't think a minority government would cut it," he said. "If difficult decisions had to be made, I don't think you'd get a majority behind them."