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Ireland bracing for loss in fight for post-Brexit spoils: source

[DUBLIN] Irish authorities are bracing to lose out in the race to host the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) following the UK's departure from the European Union (EU), a person familiar with the matter said. 

Dublin is viewed as having little chance of winning either organisation, which are being forced from London after Brexit, in part due to Ireland's lack of natural geographical allies, the person said, who asked not to be named as deliberations are private.

Frankfurt is viewed as one of the leading candidates for the EBA, while Amsterdam and Copenhagen are among the leading contenders for the EMA, the person said.

Both the Netherlands and Denmark are able to exploit local alliances, with the Dutch drawing support from the neighbouring Benelux countries and the Danes from the Nordic region. The potential loss highlights a wider issue for Ireland, with Brexit depriving Ireland of a traditional ally in Britain within the EU in areas such as tax policy.

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Failure to win either agency would also hurt the government's effort to offset the impact of Brexit. With about 15 percent of its exports going to the UK, Ireland is the EU nation most exposed to Brexit.

Some 19 cities ranging from Stockholm to Bucharest are seeking to woo the EMA. Eight offers for the EBA came in, setting the stage for deliberations by EU governments in October and a final decision in November.

The EMA, which evaluates applications for new drugs and oversees the safety of medicines, employs about 900 people and attracts 36,000 visitors a year to London from government, science and industry. The Sunday Times has reported that while Dublin won maximum points in a competition to host the EMA, so did six other cities.

The EBA works to align banking rules in the EU and has fewer than 200 employees. The Sunday Times reported that Dublin could make the top three to host the EBA, though it faces competition from cities including Vienna.

IDA Ireland, which is helping is shape Ireland's bid for the agencies, declined to comment.

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