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Ireland moves ahead as top post-Brexit destination for global financial firms

Ireland has taken the lead as the most popular destination for global financial institutions looking to house their post-Brexit European bases, with Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union fast approaching.

Some 24 firms, including Bank of America Corp., Barclays PLC, Axa and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, have selected, or are thinking of selecting, Ireland as a center from which to conduct their future EU operations.

Luxembourg and Germany follow, attracting interest from 21 and 19 companies respectively. Additionally, various large global banks and insurance firms are moving activities to France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Spain and Italy, as part of their preparations for Brexit.

With the U.K. set to exit the bloc on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has come under intense pressure to formalize an acceptable withdrawal agreement. British lawmakers have rejected her latest proposed deal, while backing an extension of the Brexit deadline to June 30. Any postponement requires the unanimous approval of EU member states.

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