Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly TD has called on Government to set out its plan for securing the relocation of two key EU agencies from the UK to Ireland following Brexit.

Deputy Donnelly made the comments after the European Commission set out the ground rules for deciding where the European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority will be relocated to once the UK leaves the EU.

Deputy Donnelly said, “Each of these agencies would bring valuable jobs and expertise to Ireland. There’s much focus on the risks Brexit represents to Ireland, but there are opportunities too, and these two agencies represent exactly that. The ground rules set out by the EU Commission are comprehensive. Ambition, planning and execution are required if we are to be in the hunt for these much sought-after EU agencies.

“The Irish Government is widely expected to focus on the European Medicines Agency, which would fit well in Ireland, given our sizable international pharma sector. However, we should be just as focused on the European Banking Authority, given the extensive presence of the regulated funds industry here.

“The Government needs to make that the case that, as the EU state most exposed to Brexit, and with such strong pharma and funds here already, that at least one of these two agencies should be relocated here. On top of that, the on-going maintenance of the Common Travel Area would give UK and Irish citizens the unfettered right to work in each other’s’ countries. This would reduce the risks faced by these agencies in losing highly-skilled staff due to relocating out of the UK. This argument is further strengthened by the fact that Ireland is the only English-speaking member of the EU27.

“Let’s see if the Irish government can turn some of the warm words from Brussels into tangible outcomes. To begin with, it must set out its strategy for securing the relocation of these key EU agencies,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.