Govt must fight to bring European Medicines Agency to Ireland – Richmond

-   Senator Neale Richmond

Fine Gael Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on EU Affairs, Neale Richmond, has once again urged Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to fight to bring the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Ireland from London ahead of Brexit.

Speaking on a Seanad Commencement Matter this morning (Wednesday), Senator Richmond said: “We all know Brexit is a disaster for Ireland on many levels. The Government is working hard to protect Ireland’s interests and where possible benefit from any possible opportunities for Ireland. It is vital that we fight to get what small concessions we can in order to compensate for the overall damage to the Irish economy.

“Chief among these is the transfer of operations of the EMA from London to Ireland, bringing with it 900 direct jobs as well as many more potential for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

“I welcome Minister Harris’ recent visit to the EMA in London as part of this fight but I think it is vital that the Minister now prepares a thorough ‘pitch’ for the European Commission and European Council who will ultimately make the decision on where to relocate the EMA.

“Initial assessments show that a number of challenges facing Ireland can and are being addressed, such as living conditions for workers. The Government’s ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ housing action plan will go some way to delivering the required accommodation needed with increased jobs creation. In my own area in Leopardstown we have seen a planning application submitted to open a large International School that can complement the existing three schools in Dublin offering the International Baccalaureate at various levels.

“Ireland has much to offer and it is an ideal location for the EMA to relocate to as an English speaking, low tax, common law country with a well-educated and international population that has an already vibrant pharmaceutical sector.”

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