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Brexit has already created more than 4,500 jobs in Ireland

Edmund Heaphy
Ireland Correspondent
Business minister Heather Humphreys made the announcement on Thursday. Pic: PA

Brexit has already created more than 4,500 jobs in Ireland, the country’s development agency said on Thursday (3 January).

“Since June 2016, over 55 companies have made the decision to opt for Ireland on foot of Brexit,” said Martin Shanahan, the CEO of IDA Ireland, the state agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment.

The agency said that it had secured a “substantial number” of Brexit-related investments in 2018 alone, and noted that Brexit was now a factor in all investment decisions in Ireland.

These investments reflect “the faith that the international community has in Ireland as a post-Brexit financial and commercial hub,” said Heather Humphreys, Ireland’s business minister, pointing to moves made by JP Morgan and Thompson Reuters.

In total, there are now almost 230,000 people employed in the country’s multinational sector, an all-time record. The 11% growth in overall multinational job numbers in 2018, Shanahan said, was evidence that Ireland was experiencing a Brexit dividend, even if all of the jobs could not be tied directly to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Despite that, both Humphreys and Shanahan noted that Brexit would create more than a few problems for Ireland.

“There is no positive scenario from Brexit for Ireland, notwithstanding that it is driving investment in our direction,” Shanahan said.

In particular, the Irish government warned last month that a no-deal Brexit would have “profound political, economic and legal implications” for the country.

READ MORE: Irish government publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plan

But Shanahan told Yahoo Finance UK that he expected Brexit-related investments to continue “for quite some time,” noting that the UK was now “less attractive” as an investment location in general.

He also noted that the 4,500 jobs created by the more than 55 companies who have invested in Ireland as a result of Brexit were only initial jobs announcements.

“There is every likelihood that employment associated with these companies will increase,” Shanahan said.

Financial institutions like Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, as well as Citi Group and Barclays, had “declared a new or expanded presence for Ireland in 2018,” the agency noted.

“Ireland’s advantages in a post-Brexit context include English language, commitment to the EU, a common law system in addition to our existing competitive proposition.”

And Shanahan said that there would also be an increase in sectors outside of finance, such as the pharmaceutical sector, which is already a major investor in Ireland.