Services & Brexit

EU Services Rights

A service provider which is established in Ireland will retain the key EU freedoms to provide services throughout the European Union and to open branches and subsidiaries in other EU states. Accordingly, a professional services firm of business which establishes itself in another EU state such as Ireland will generally retain access to the EU market in services.

Article 54 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that companies or firms formed in accordance with the law of a member state and having their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Union, are to be treated for the purpose of freedom of establishment rights (A49-A55),  in the same way as natural persons who are nationals of member states.

Article 55 provides that Member states must accord nationals of other member states the same treatment as their own nationals as regards participation in the capital of companies and firms.

Article 56 provides that restrictions on freedom to provide services within the EU shall be prohibited in respect of nationals of member states who are established in a member state other than that of the person for whom the services are intended. The rights may be extended by EU legislation to nationals of third countries who provide services and are established within the EU.

Services Directive

The Services Directive which provides for the general right to provide services throughout the EU, applies to service providers (including a company) established in a member state in accordance with Article 54 above. The Services Directive gives detailed expression to the right to provide services. It  limits the extent to which EU states, other than the state of establishment, can place limits and conditions on  the provision of those services. See generally the sections on the Services Directive in Brexit Issues.

UK Service Providers

UK citizens will retain unconditional rights to travel to work and establish themselves in Ireland under the Common Travel Area arrangements. For many years, dating back long before each state acceded to the European communities in 1973, the Irish and UK labour markets have been effectively a single market. There is a high level of mutual recognition of qualifications both in statutory based professions where applicable or deriving from long-standing practice of non-statutory  bodies, reflecting very similar curricula and a common heritage.