Ireland 'could be a middleman' for UK and EU
Mike Lynch, the founder of $11bn Autonomy software giant and $1bn investment fund Invoke Capital, has said that Ireland can be the justification for Britain opting for a soft Brexit.
"Ireland has more cards in its hands than perhaps it appreciates. It could act as a kind of Brexit middleman between the EU and UK," said Lynch to the Sunday Independent at his office in London. "If the government acts decisively it can take a carrot-and-stick approach, positioned as it is between them. Ireland could justify the UK opting for a soft Brexit.
"It could be the fudge that makes it work, a sort of face-saving back down for Britain from a harder stance."
Lynch's comments emerged in light of EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier's insistence, when speaking in the Dáil, that customs controls will be needed on the border and for UK-Ireland trade "to protect the single market", although "Ireland's interests are the EU's interests".
Lynch - whose parents are from Tipperary and Cork - said that Invoke Capital's $1bn (€900m) fund has invested $100m in cyber security, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the internet of things startups.
One of these, Sophia Genetics, is using AI to improve cancer treatment, and has analysed 100,000 patients, making it the largest clinical genomics data set in the world, he said, adding that Invoke has a 28pc stake in the firm.
Sunday Indo Business