IN the past few months talk of Brexit has been all doom and gloom for Ireland, with politicians issuing stark warnings over trade deals as well as the Peace Process.
However, there has been speculation over the weekend that Britain leaving the EU might actually benefit Ireland’s financial services industry.
Uncertainty over whether Britain will remain in the EU could mean bankers based in the City of London head to Dublin, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The prediction comes after Chancellor George Osborne warned last week that “tens of thousands” of finance jobs could be put at risk if the country voted for a Brexit.
Martin Shanahan, the head of the Irish Development Agency, has made no secret of the fact that he is hoping to create 10,000 new finance jobs in Ireland over the next four years.
The City of London is Europe’s leading financial centre and the Britain Stronger In campaign have warned that a Brexit could mean London loses this status.
The governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said on Sunday a vote to leave could lead to fewer jobs, lower wages and British businesses going out of business.
Pro-leave campaigners argue that the financial service industry would flourish without the regulations imposed by the EU.
Back in April over 100 leading figures in the City signed a letter to the London Evening Standard arguing that the City of London would “thrive and grow” outside of Europe.
We asked some City of London bankers from across the world whether they’d find the prospect of moving to Dublin tempting, should a Brexit occur.
James Moriarty, from Dublin, Ireland:
“I would be tempted to move to Dublin. A greater breadth of financial services jobs in Dublin would be a big pull factor.
“That, coupled with the improving economy, good schools, lower cost of living, great places to eat and drink, and family and friends who are already there would make it an attractive option.”
Sebastian Shae, from the United States and France:
“Should employment conditions in London for European nationals like myself be at risk, Dublin could be a very strong alternative to London as a workplace.
“It would be geographically and (to an extent, of course) culturally close to London, while offering a lower cost of living, with just as strong a quality of life.”
Sarge, from Britain and France:
“Dublin would become a more tempting prospect due to no work permit issues, but it will probably be around the edges as the good people from the continent will still be able to get jobs in London.”
Anonymous banker, from Ireland:
“The UK relies upon London as a driver of economic sentiment and prosperity. An exit of the EU will create uncertainty around that in the short to medium term, which will create an opportunity for Dublin to attract top talent as finance professionals look for stability and growing prospects.
“Of course, all of this depends on (a) continued strength of EU post Brexit and (b) response from the UK government and the Bank of England with measures to bolster UK economy and maintain London’s international importance.”
Anne Laure Meynier, from France:
“I think that in the case of Brexit, a number of financial institutions would consider relocating part of their activities; Dublin could indeed be a tempting location considering the English speaking working environment would remain. Additionally, the Irish economy has shown dynamism in the recent years and had definitely played by the European rules, which is definitely on the plus side.
“Ireland being in the Euro-zone would be a significant argument in favour of Dublin.”
Carlos Santos, from Britain and Colombia:
“I suspect a Brexit would cause many financial businesses in the UK to rethink their office location and with its mature banking system, moderate regulatory environment and favourable tax regime, I would expect Dublin to be a popular choice for many of these businesses to relocate to.”