Friday 24 November 2017

State using bank bid as leverage in exit talks

An aerial view of Dublin (Stock picture)
An aerial view of Dublin (Stock picture)
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The Irish bid to be the home of the European Banking Authority could be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit talks.

Authorities here may be willing to give up the prize for concessions elsewhere in Brexit talks, though how that could work is unclear.

The Government's bid for the EBA affords the State flexibility in the Brexit negotiations, the Department of Finance said.

A senior source familiar with the process insisted the State's bid to host the EBA is genuine, but also that securing the agency for Ireland would not, in itself, be a big enough win to trade for something else in the national interest.

Signal

"I don't see how it can be used on a chessboard like that," the source added.

The minutes of a meeting of senior officials in the department noted the benefits to Ireland of hosting the agency, including as a signal to the global financial sector of the importance that Ireland places on financial services.

But the minutes also state: "In addition, a formal bid for the EBA would afford the State flexibility in the Brexit negotiations."

Irish Independent

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