Theresa May is 'bad for business', says Ibec

British Prime Minister Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May

Theresa May is a "damned bad" prime minister for business because she's taking her country out of the single market and turning talent away from the UK, Ibec director general Danny Mc Coy has said.

This, however, could provide a competitive advantage to Ireland, he added. Ms May, pictured, has also warned the European Union that no deal was better than a bad deal. Mr McCoy said that the UK's focus on controlling migration should be to our advantage.

"She's not a great prime minister for British business, or business more generally. In fact, she's a damned bad one in the sense of walking away from the single market without trying to strike a good deal. The nonsense of 'no deal is better than a bad deal' stuff is really heading them towards a cliff edge and then hoping to get a transitional agreement," Mr McCoy told the Irish Independent.

"She's turning away talent and she's making the talent that's already there feel like moving - and so that should give us a competitive advantage. Our problem is that we haven't built infrastructure quickly enough to be able to absorb people."

Mr McCoy will deliver an opening address at today's Trinity Global Business Forum, which will also include a panel discussion on SMEs and Brexit.

Meanwhile, financial services minister Eoghan Murphy has warned that Ireland faces "dangerous competition" for Brexit-related spoils and questioned whether regulators in some other EU capitals were being prudent. Mr Murphy said he believes there is "regulatory competition" going on to try and attract firms and sectors that could be looking for a "back door" into the single market."Some of the feedback that I'm getting from companies interested in relocating out of London into Ireland is that some of the things that are being suggested to them by regulators in other jurisdictions make me worry about relaxed standards being applied by other regulators so they can be more competitive in attracting competition," Mr Murphy told the Irish Independent, ahead of a financial services conference last night in London hosted by law firm Matheson.

Mr Murphy cited sectors such as insurance and fund management and signalled suggestions were being made to companies by regulators that might not be doable within the European context. Dublin has been tipped as a possible contender, along with a number of other European capitals, for financial services jobs displaced as a result of the Brexit vote.

Mr Murphy's comments coincide with a Dail motion tabled by Fianna Fáil yesterday in relation to this issue, as well as motor insurance and the collapse of Setanta and Enterprise Insurance.

The motion urges the Government to consider taking legal action against the Maltese and Gibraltar authorities for losses arising from "inadequate regulation" of the two companies.

It is understood the regulatory competition concerns in the context of Brexit do not relate to the larger EU capitals, but smaller jurisdictions. The minister has previously discussed the issue at an Oireachtas Committee, where he described it as "dangerous competition". "What we have heard from some companies makes me question whether they [certain regulators] are being prudent," he has said.

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