Services from Ireland

Business which establish a subsidiary or other sufficient presence in Ireland may offer services throughout the European Union from their Irish base. There are very limited grounds upon which the provision of services from one EU state into another may be prevented or limited. The general principle is that services lawfully provided in one EU state may be provided in all EU states, in the absence of cogent justification otherwise.

An Irish established business may assert rights under the EU treaty directly against governments governmental and trade bodies which place barriers on their provision of services. The whole state may not discriminate against the service provider the home state this case a subsidiary established in Ireland.

These rights can be asserted in the courts of the other EU state. Those courts are obliged not to apply and to disapply laws rules and practices of the host state which breach the freedoms and freedoms in the EU treaty to provide services.

In addition to effect being given to EU cross-border services rights by court action, the rights may be enforced more economically pursuant to a complaint to the EU Commission. The EU Commission has significant powers under legislation, including in particular the Services Directive, by which it can require states to remove hidden and other barriers on the provision of services cross-border within the EU. The Commission can require such barriers to be justified by states. Justification is possible only on very narrow grounds of necessity.

An Irish established subsidiary may itself generally establish branches and further subsidiaries in other EU states in order to carry out services in that state.

An Irish established business service provider has the advantage of free unconditional access to the Irish labour market, the UK the labour market and the EU 26 labour market. In this way, a broad pool of talent is available. No visas or employer sponsorship licences are required. UK personnel may be seconded to the Irish subsidiary without Visa requirements.

The UK and Ireland has long had a single labour market. In many sectors qualification systems are very similar or identical so that UK qualifications are recognised. This applies  from primary qualifications to certificates and diplomas at all levels. The qualifications frameworks in the United Kingdom are broadly similar to those in the Republic of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom and their respective trade bodies have long since recognised each other’s qualifications in many areas including those set by law and those recognised by industry practice.