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Brexit is not a contest for attracting new business – Hayes

Brexit is not a contest for attracting new business – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today said that we should not look at Brexit as a contest to attract new business to Ireland, there are much bigger issues at stake.

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“There’s no doubt about it, Brexit offers significant opportunities for Ireland particularly in the financial services sector.

“But we cannot treat Brexit as a contest where we’re pitted against Paris, Frankfurt and Luxembourg on how many job numbers we can attract. Whenever a UK financial firm decides to relocate staff to another EU city, the kneejerk reaction is to question why we did not get a slice of the cake.

“Businesses will move to Dublin, there’s no doubt about that. There are a huge amount of investment firms looking at Dublin as an opportunity and the IDA and Department of Finance have worked extremely hard in demonstrating the potential that we have to offer. We are already performing extremely well in the FDI space; this week’s CSO figures showed that investment by firms operating here jumped by 45.5% in 2016.

“We must keep focus on the real priorities in the Brexit negotiations. That is ensuring that our economic links remain strong with the UK, that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic and that the Common Travel between Ireland and the UK continues to operate.

“These issues are much more important than focusing on which firm wants to move where. They are the issues that will define how Brexit impacts the Irish economy.

“We have to accept that if it is right for certain businesses, they will move here. We’ve got remarkable selling points, including our young and highly skilled workforce, cultural and language similarities with London, a dynamic business environment and great transport links with Europe and the US.

“I am confident we will attract the right businesses in a Brexit environment. We’re not going to mop up everything but we will be able to attract opportunities that fits with our financial services model, particularly around fund administration, insurance and asset management.”

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