Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Niall Collins TD has called on the Minister Mitchell O’Connor to quickly spell out what exactly is her strategy for making sure that Ireland is well positioned to secure additional EU jobs on offer following Brexit.

“There will be an intense period of lobbying following the conclusion of negotiations as to where the large number of EU agencies currently based in the UK will relocate to.”

The UK is currently host to the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as well as numerous research projects.

“In recent correspondence with the Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, I called for a fair, open process in re-distributing EU agencies from the UK.”

“Despite Commissioner Moeadas’ assurances that no discussions can take place until after Article 50 negotiations, I am I am concerned that this does not reflect the actual situation.”

“Every couple of months, we hear of intense lobbying from large member states trying to wrestle control of the jobs involved.”

“Other member states, who will be in direct competition with Ireland, are jockeying for influence in trying to move these agencies and projects to their countries.”

“Minister Mitchell O’Connor and the government cannot allow larger member states muscle out smaller countries in an effort to acquire these jobs.”

“I emphasised to the Commissioner the pressing need to ensure that a fair, open process is engaged with by the Commission when it decides on re-locations. It cannot be a matter of who ever shouts loudest gets the most.”

“The Taoiseach has stated that government departments are preparing its own case for acquiring specific agencies. Clearly the Commission’s stated position is not actually the reality.”

“Once the process is fair and transparent, I am confident that Ireland can compete with any other EU member states when it comes to winning post-Article 50 agency relocations.”

“This will be a major boost across the country. Brexit is a serious economic shock so it is vital that we adjust quickly and ensure we have a resilient economy to withstand any repercussions. The Minister must work with the Commission to defend Ireland’s corner against any job-grabs by larger states,” concluded Collins.