Brexit: EU to move key agencies from London to France and Netherlands when UK leaves, Brussels announces


Written by : Jon Stone

France and Netherlands will benefit from Brexit at the expense of the UK, as key EU agencies previously hosted by Britain are moved abroad.

The European Council announced the new location of the European Medicines Agency will be Amsterdam, and the European Banking Authority will move to Paris, after a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Over a dozen EU member states lobbied vigorously to be the new hosts of the two regulators, which are sought after because of the benefits they bring for local employment, their function as a hub for their industries, and for their prestige.

As well as the boost from the agencies themselves, their relocation is also expected to attract the assorted offices of major pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions, and their associated lobbyists and consultancies.

The agencies’ previous location in the UK recognised Britain’s role as a financial and pharmaceutical industry superpower within the EU. In April, Brexit Secretary David Davis wrongly said the agencies would be able to stay in Britain after Brexit.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which employs around 1,000 well-paid staff, coordinates the evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of treatments by national agencies before they can be used across the EU.

The smaller European Banking Authority (EBA), which has between 100 and 200 staff, enforces EU bank regulations, stress tests banks, and can overrule national bank regulators if they are found to be breaking European rules.

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