Scots-Irish tie-up ‘critical’ in face of Brexit

David Clarke, founder and policy director of the Scottish-Irish Finance Initiative (SIFI), said companies and policy makers had an 'obligation' to work together ahead of Brexit. Picture: Graham Flack
David Clarke, founder and policy director of the Scottish-Irish Finance Initiative (SIFI), said companies and policy makers had an 'obligation' to work together ahead of Brexit. Picture: Graham Flack
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The founder of an initiative to boost cooperation between the finance industries of Scotland and Ireland has called for increased collaboration efforts ahead of meetings this week.

David Clarke, founder and policy director of the Scottish-Irish Finance Initiative (SIFI), said companies and policy makers had an “obligation” to work together ahead of Brexit.

His comments came ahead of Scottish Government minister Kate Forbes’ visit to Dublin on Friday, where she will meet with representatives of Ireland’s financial industry and the Irish government.

The SIFI initiative, set up in 2017, aims to help companies in the UK and Ireland continue to trade effectively after Brexit.

Clarke said: “With Scottish asset managers, banks and insurers braced for barriers being erected between them and the lucrative EU market, it’s critical for them to know that Ireland provides a receptive base for their European operations. Likewise for Irish and international businesses based in Ireland looking to sell into the UK post-Brexit.

“Both countries have been successful to date on their own terms. In the future both will be challenged by regional and not national industry hubs.

“If Irish and Scottish businesses and policy makers, by working together, can bring more high-value jobs into our economies and spread even more wealth throughout our communities, we have an obligation to grasp this opportunity.”

Clarke said collaboration of this kind would be “very much on the table” throughout the meetings this week.