Fianna Fail MEP for Dublin, Barry Andrews, has called for the Irish Government to urgently put in place a mechanism to screen foreign investment in Ireland.

The comments come ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of the European Parliament committee on Trade with Commissioner Phil Hogan.

MEP Andrews said: “The COVID-19 crisis has underlined how important it is to protect strategic assets particularly in the life sciences including medical research and pharmaceutical ingredients. As an open trading economy, Ireland will approach screening with caution. However a new EU Screening Regulation will become operational in October and we need to make sure that there is no fire sale of important companies and that we have a robust mechanism in place.

“It will be up to Member States to decide what investments to scrutinise and what to do about them. The post-Covid 19 trading world will be very different as countries seek to secure, shorten and simplify supply chains particularly in areas like ventilator components and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

“While the regulation applies to all sectors of the economy, other areas of concern include tech companies, media and food security,” concluded MEP Andrews.