Ireland wants the European Medicines Agency to move from Canary Wharf to Dublin following Brexit.

The EU drug agency moved to Churchill Place in January 2015 on a 25-year lease. It employs 890 staff and is largest EU body in Britain, approving medicines for all member countries.

Irish health minister, Simon Harris , said he will be pressing the case in Brussels for the relocation of the EMA to the Republic of Ireland’s capital city. Officials have already begun laying the groundwork and in September will seek a formal inter-departmental working group to flesh out Ireland’s bid.

A spokesman told The Irish Times: “The minister has asked his officials to prepare for a bid to bring the EMA to Dublin. We will be making the case that Dublin offers significant advantages as a location, not least the advantage of the English language, a strong pharmaceutical and R&D sector presence.”

Spain has already staked its claim to either the EMA or the European Banking Authority, based in One Canada Square, in the aftermath of June’s EU referendum. Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Germany have also expressed interest in hosting the EMA.

A spokeswoman for the EMA said it welcomed the interest but no decision had been made about whether it would relocate and would not be made by the agency but by common agreement among EU member states.

She added: "The implications of the UK referendum for the seat and operations of EMA depend on the future relationship between the UK and the EU. This is unknown at present and therefore we will not engage in any speculations."

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