European Union diplomats are plotting to issue a crushing blow to Theresa May's Brexit strategy by withdrawing flagship agencies from Britain "within weeks", it has been reported.
"As part of these negotiations the government will discuss with the European Union and member states how best to continue cooperation in the fields of banking and medicines regulation in the best interests of both the United Kingdom and the EU". The Republic is one of four countries officially competing to attract both agencies.
Officials at a meeting held last Tuesday agreed an uncompromising position over the future of the EU's banking and medicine regulators - which employ about 1,000 people in London.
"This is a domestic matter for the United Kingdom", the official said.
"As part of these negotiations, the government will discuss with the European Union and member states how best to continue co-operation in the fields of banking and medicines regulation, in the best interests of both the United Kingdom and the EU". It remains to be seen how these negotiations will ultimately play out.
All of that business will be lost to another major European city - with Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam all reportedly vying for the prestigious institutions. "There is a broad understanding that it is something that you need to move quickly on".
For its part, the UK-based pharmaceutical industry is also generally convinced that the EMA must leave London.Its members organisation the ABPI has been calling for an early agreement on close working between the EMA and the United Kingdom in post-Brexit drug regulation. The consistent message from UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been that securing the status of, and giving certainty to, European nationals already in the UK, and to UK nationals in the EU, is a priority for the Government.
United Kingdom diplomat Sir Tim Barrow (L) triggered Brexit on 29 March by handing a formal notification to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.
"This will allow the EU27 to start negotiations", he adds.
EU officials said European Council President Donald Tusk, who chairs summits of the 27 other EU leaders who will decide where to put the agencies, aimed to set out some procedures for making the choices by the time they meet next on April 29.