Dublin or Amsterdam?

At first glance, it seems that Ireland would be the natural domicile for companies wishing to move their addresses from Britain. In particular, Dublin should be in a position to take in refugees from the City. It speaks English and, more importantly, operates under a version of English law, the legal environment preferred by the global finance community.

But how will Ireland, as an EU member, interact with the offshore dependencies of the UK, such as the British Virgin Islands, which European regulators treat with suspicion as likely enablers of money laundering and tax evasion? Will the Netherlands, with its sophisticated (if still Continental) commercial legal system and the Antilles as an offshore jurisdiction acceptable to the Eurocommissars, have an advantage over Ireland? At any rate, it’s a once in a lifetime chance for places like Dublin, Amsterdam, Luxemburg and Frankfurt.


  1. I think there is too much of a risk that Dublin might also find itself outside the EU. The land route from Eire to the EU is through England and Wales, for a start. And I expect Ireland does more commerce with the U.K. than it does with the rest of the EU, and certainly more than any other single nation. Since 1922 there has been an agreement allowing free movement of people between the UK and Eire, which will effectively end once Britain leaves the EU because Eire isn’t permitted to enjoy migration policies independent of the EU. It might be possible for the UK to allow Irish citizens in to live and work visa free, but Ireland will not be allowed to reciprocate. And at that point I think we’ll see the Irish make a serious decision regarding where their real economic and social interests lie. For all the bluster about the Irish not liking Britain and loving Europe, the U.K. has an awful lot of Irish in it. And as I said, unless they are keen on flying they’re gonna have to come through the UK to get off their island.

    • One would think that the EU should become more flexible, leaving more room for member countries on immigration and movement of labor, because it was perhaps the most important reason for Brexit. Or they could take the opposite course, shedding the periphery altogether in favor of a tighter “core” union.

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