Michael D’Arcy says can help UK firms


Ireland says it can help U.K. companies that are concerned about losing the right to sell products into the European Union after Brexit comes into effect.

“We’re saying to people, if there are difficulties, Ireland can be part of the solution for passporting,” Michael D’Arcy, minister of state at Ireland’s Department of Finance, told CNBC from the sidelines of the Asian Financial Forum on Monday.

Passporting refers to how companies that are registered within an EU nation or a handful of other countries are allowed to do business across the whole bloc. Many U.K.-based firms are worried that they are going to lose access to those markets.

Once the U.K. leaves the European economic bloc in March 2019, “we can offer a very good solution for companies who potentially may have a difficulty,” D’Arcy continued. “We are a pro-business country. We are non-protectionist.”

Aside from a low corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent — well below the U.K.’s 19 percent and Hong Kong’s 16.5 percent — Ireland boasts other advantages such as a flexible workforce and a robust financial services sector, D’Arcy said.

The United Kingdom, which includes Northern Ireland, voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, but the Republic of Ireland remains within the bloc.

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