Over 100,000 U.K. Companies Registered in Ireland After Brexit

Almac executive director Colin Hayburn.
Almac executive director Colin Hayburn.

By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
April / May 2017

Despite the fact that the deadline for the completion of the U.K. withdrawal from the European Union is two years away, U.K. companies are already registering in Ireland to shore up contingency plans to remain part of the E.U. market.

According to statements made by Northern Irish member of parliament Stephen Kelly to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in the House of Commons in February, more than 100,000 companies have already registered, with more expected to follow.

“Manufacturers need time to plan, they need time to ensure they put in place whatever measures they need to ensure their sustainability in the long term,” Kelly told the committee, according to the International Business Times.

“We know companies will be making decision within the next 12 months, not within the next 24 months, in order to give themselves time to put in place whatever new arrangements they have to satisfy their own internal business needs.”

The news comes after a January announcement by U.K. prime minister Theresa May that British companies would not be guaranteed to keep access to the European markets.

Ireland, which will share the only E.U. land border with the U.K., has become the primary focus of relocation initiatives, primarily taken on by Northern Irish manufacturing companies. One of Northern Ireland’s largest employers, pharmaceutical firm Almac, which employs about 2,600 people in the north, has already set a groundwork for moving across the border to Dundalk, County Louth.

“We have no desire that [Almac products] would not be manufactured in Northern Ireland,” Almac executive director Colin Hayburn told the committee, reported the Irish Times. “It would not be ideal in any way, but if there isn’t clarity and there is nervousness there in relation to what the future is, we might be forced into having a greater manufacturing presence in the South because of our need for E.U. operations.” ♦

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