Challenges Offset by Opportunities

by Stephen Kennedy

While Brexit has been described as Ireland's biggest foreign policy challenge to date, there are also opportunities for Ireland to attract foreign investment away from the uncertain future of the UK and to promote Dublin as a stable alternative to London.  Once the UK exits the EU, Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the EU with access to the common market and with strong ties to the U.S. This presents conceivable advantages for Ireland as a potential alternative location within the EU for UK-based organizations, and for U.S. businesses seeking an English-speaking EU base.

Similar opportunities exist for the recruitment and contract staffing market.  Ireland and the UK share similarities across language, culture and law. These similarities combined with close geographic proximity have led to the development of a strong corporate relationship between the two regions, at t he centre of which are UK and Irish employees.  Brexit will have a significant impact on this relationship and will introduce many HR challenges for the organisations involved.  Restrictions on freedom of movement between the UK and Ireland will also mean less scope to fill shortages of skilled workers.  This could result in a significant increase in interim management and contract staffing for highly skilled professionals, some of whom will relocate from the UK for these opportunities.

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