The debate over whether the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) should stay in the capital has taken another turn, as the UK’s closes neighbour revealed it is bidding for the agencies to move to their isle.
Speaking to the Irish Times, two ministers confirmed Ireland was planning on snatching the agencies from under the UK once it leaves the bloc.
One senior Irish figure said: “There is no way the European Union would allow the British retain two key agencies when it made the decision to leave the EU. It just will not happen.”
Ireland has made a bid for the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority
The dig at Brexit came after David Davis insisted the fate of the agencies is still up for negotiation despite claims by the EU that they will run a competition to relocate them.
A spokeswoman for the Brexit department said in a statement: "No decisions have been taken about the location of the European Banking Authority or the European Medicines Agency — these will be subject to the exit negotiations.
"As part of these negotiations, the Government will discuss with the EU and member states how best to continue co-operation in the fields of banking and medicines regulation in the best interests of both the UK and the EU. It would not be appropriate to prejudge the outcome of the negotiations.
There is no way the European Union would allow the British retain two key agencies
One senior Irish figure
“We have made clear we want to have reached an agreement about our future partnership by the time the two-year Article 50 process has concluded before a phased process of implementation.
“By working together with our European neighbours we're confident we will be able to secure a deal that works in the mutual interests of both the UK and the rest of the European Union."
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
The EMA and EBA each employ about 1,000 people, many of them British, and provide a hub for businesses in the UK.
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, has previously said the UK will have no say in where the agencies move.
In pictures: Theresa May meets with EU's Tusk Thu, April 6, 2017
The two leaders held talks on Brexit negotiations
AFP/Getty Images 1 of 9
European Council President Donald Tusk gestures to members of the media as he leaves 10 Downing street after talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in central London
He said: "The future location of the seats of EU agencies and facilities located in the United Kingdom is a matter for the 27 member states.
"Arrangements should be found to facilitate their transfer."
An EU official said on Monday, Tusk would propose procedures and criteria for making the decision on location this month.