Jobs potential with over 100 firms looking to move operations to maintain European base after Brexit vote

Over 100 multinationals, with the potential to generate thousands of jobs, are looking to move operations here in order to maintain a European base following the Brexit vote.

It is understood that the IDA has received a significant amount of interest from large London-based companies now seeking to relocate here.

Around half of the companies that have made inquires to the IDA are in the financial sector. It is understood tech companies and manufacturing firms have also expressed interest in Ireland.

A significant number of these firms have already made “site visits” to Ireland, with technical teams travelling here to explore in more detail our infrastructure, workforce, and regulations.

Conversations with the IDA are at various stages but sources say one company at the most progressed stage of moving here would be looking at bringing hundreds of jobs to Ireland.

While many multinationals, especially financial firms, would maintain bases in London, it is believed they would have to establish a significant base in Ireland or another European state and would not get away with “hot-desking” in a European country.

The potential jobs boost comes as Taoiseach Enda Kenny yet again ruled out any possibility of appointing a Brexit minister.

Enda Kenny

Mr Kenny said he “does not agree” that there should be a Brexit minister as he said co-ordination through the Department of the Taoiseach is “far stronger”.

“We cannot give this any higher political status than the Office of the Taoiseach,” he said. “I chair these meetings. Every single minister is a Brexit minister, as is every minister of state. Every political party has a duty to consult with their own individual European partners and European agreements.”

Government sources believe the UK would not be looking to restrict freedom of movement but would put restrictions on the rights of EU citizens. For example, it could be more difficult for Irish and other Europeans to obtain pensions, work permits, or social security numbers in the UK.

Meanwhile, the North’s first minister, Arlene Foster, has aimed a stinging broadside at the Government’s all-Ireland Brexit forum, saying she has better things to do than listen to a lot of “grandstanding remoaners”.

The Democratic Unionist Party leader has already declined an invite to attend next week’s “civic dialogue” event in Dublin, which has been organised by Mr Kenny to discuss the fall-out from the referendum.

Explaining her reason for staying away, Ms Foster portrayed the gathering as little more than a talking shop for those who refuse to accept the UK is leaving the EU.

Arlene Foster

“It’s a complete grandstanding exercise,” she said.

“It will be full of people who quite frankly haven’t accepted the referendum result going down to talk about how dreadful it is and how awful it is. Mark my words, that’s exactly what will happen at the grandstanding forum that will come about.

“I’m not going to be a part of that. I am in this to do real business and to have outcomes, not to sit around talking about how dreadful it is.”

Mr Kenny has said the event will facilitate an all-Ireland conversation among the business community, wider civic society, and politicians.

Asked whether it would be valuable to put the argument for Brexit to forum delegates, Ms Foster said: “To be a lone voice among a whole lot of remoaners? No thank you — I have better things to do with my time.”

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