Michael D'Arcy, Ireland's minister for state at the Department of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, has reaffirmed the Irish government's wish for a speedy Brexit resolution, when attending the official opening of the Dublin headquarters of Mediolanum Internationnal Funds Limited (MIFL), the asset management production and distribution business of Mediolanum Banking Group.
D'Arcy said the view reflected the fact that the Republic of Ireland does not just see the UK as a close trading partner, but as "cousins", given the 6 million people in the UK who could claim an Irish passport.
He said that after some 30 months in the job, and following visits to London, he would prefer to see Ireland as part of a Brexit solution, rather than leveraging gain out of other's difficulties. In particular, he highlighted the desire to position Ireland as part of the solution to passorting to the other EU26, should there be challenges to passporting rights as a result of the UK general election, taking place 12 December.
"We have an agreement. We hope it clears the House of Commons at the earliest stage possible, so we can move towards a trade agreement."
"We want the closest possible trading relationship between the UK and EU."
MIFL has pledged to continue increasing its headcount of investment professionals at its Dublin headquarters, following the move into a new office that has been officiall opened by D'Arcy, pictured above left with MIFL managing director Furio Pietribiasi.
D'Arcy said the growth in staff at MIFL reflected the objective of the Irish government, which is to reach some 50,000 people directly employed in the financial sector by 2050.
Currently, the local industry has some 44,000 employees, with more than 430 companies active. From the perspective of funds, D'Arcy noted some 1,000 fund managers from 50 countries now have assets administered in Ireland, including 17 of the top 20.
The Irish goverment is also pursuing measures, such as joint government-industry workshops, to foster innovation and education that delivers future employees with the right skillsets to service the growing sector, he said.