Major multinationals are stalling on plans to invest in the UK while eyeing up Ireland in the event of a Brexit, the Central Bank chief has said.
Professor Philip Lane also blamed the sliding value of sterling on mounting fears over the in/out referendum on whether Britain should remain part of the EU.
Before a parliamentary watchdog in Dublin, the governor of Ireland’s Central Bank said he was sure international companies were holding off on decisions about locating in the UK until after the vote.
“I have no doubt, it has to be the case that any sensible major firm considering where to make a location decision, and if the competition is between UK and Ireland, I’m sure any rational firm is going to stall for a few months,” he said.
“So, I think the number one issue is delay, it is going to delay decisions about projects.”
Appearing before the Oireachtas Finance Committee, he added: “I think we are seeing sterling weaken in recent weeks, which is partly (due to) speculation ahead of a Brexit risk.
“Then, what happens after that, whether firms decide to come here (to Ireland) instead of the UK, and so on, I think there is a lot of different scenarios.
“It’s hard to make strong predictions about that effect.”