Thursday 21 September 2017

Dublin set to benefit from Brexit first movers

The City of London could see the departure of employers in the financial and legal services sectors that can’t afford to wait for the final outcome of Brexit
The City of London could see the departure of employers in the financial and legal services sectors that can’t afford to wait for the final outcome of Brexit

Ronald Quinlan Commercial Property Editor

Dublin could begin to benefit from Brexit immediately as companies in the UK's financial and legal services sectors relocate their operations even in advance of the British government starting its negotiations with the EU.

"Some businesses can't afford to wait, so there is a 'first-mover' advantage for those who say: 'We don't know whether we're going to have a regulatory approval [within the EU] if we're in financial or legal services and we stay in the UK'," said CBRE's UK head of research Miles Gibson, referring to the dilemma facing companies based in the City of London.

Speaking to the Irish Independent following the publication of CBRE Ireland's Outlook 2017 annual report, Mr Gibson said a number of businesses could decide to move "pre-emptively" rather than wait for the outcome of the Brexit process.

Asked if he believed Dublin could compete against other European cities such as Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam in attracting companies relocating due to Brexit he described the capital as "a serious prospect" for those considering such a move.

Mr Gibson said Ireland's special arrangements with the UK in relation to the common travel area and the border with the North would also work to its advantage. He said: "The Irish government is making it very clear it would like some kind of special arrangement to apply to Ireland and the border, and I think the EU will take those concerns extremely seriously."

Asked for his views on US president elect Donald Trump's pledge to lower America's corporate tax rate and tax profits returning to the United States from US companies overseas' operations, Mr Gibson said: "We'll have to see what he does, but we're not expecting discriminatory treatment.

"If he does start to apply these rules, he will probably do it across the board. So the disadvantage, if you're a US investor looking at Europe in relation to the tax regime applying to profits coming back to the US from Europe, won't affect your decision - because you're going to have that wherever you go."

He added that in those circumstances, Ireland would need to market itself on the basis of its differences and advantages over other European countries. "If it does that, then I think it will continue to be successful," he said.

Irish Independent

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