Opening Bell: Post-Brexit UK / Ireland trade deal could be impossible, Netflix flops, RDS revenues rise

A cabinet minister in Westminister has warned that it could be impossible to create a special tariff agreement between the UK and Ireland if Britain leaves the EU.

In a speech pensions secretary Stephen Crabb highlighted the fact that under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules the UK will not be able to offer favourable tariffs to single nations without extending the same offer to all WTO countries.

“Regardless of what we decided on import tariffs, there’s a catch. WTO rules would require us to offer the same tariff to all countries. So if we wanted to offer low tariffs to our neighbours in Ireland, we’d have to do the same for all other 160 countries in the WTO,” he said, speaking at the launch of the UK Treasury assessment of the economic cost of leaving the EU.

According to the report, “Goods being exported across the border could be subject to various forms of customs controls and their liability to duty determined according to complex rules of origin. This would affect the current high level of cross-border activity and trade flows.”

The document highlights the importance of trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


The value of shares in Netflix has fallen after the company reduced a new subscribers target.

The streaming service says it’s aiming to add about 2 million customers in the second quarter of this year.

But analysts had expected that number to be as high as 3.5 million.

The company did get an extra 2.2 million customers to sign up in the US during the first 3 months of this year – this was ahead of forecasts.


Dublin’s RDS enjoyed a 5% revenue bounce last year as it attracted more exhibitions and conferences, rising to €18.4m.

The Dublin 4 non-profit returned an operating surplus of €1.8m as events like the Web Summit, Metropolis, The Ideal Homes Show and the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition filled its halls.

Renovation work on the main arena which is home to Leinster Rugby will begin after next year’s Dublin Horse Show.

Michael Duffy, chief executive of the RDS commented on the results, “Venue bookings increased during the year with the return of a number of events which had not taken place for a number of years. There was also a noticeable pick-up in advance bookings throughout 2015, which has continued through to this year.”


The Irish Farmers Association will elect a new presidents today.

It’s the first vote since the former president Eddie Downey stepped down last year.

It followed controversy over pay levels of senior members of the organisation.

Votes from the IFA’s 947 local branches will be counted in Dublin later this morning.

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