Opening Bell: Mixed Brexit warnings, FBI hopes to bypass Apple, investors snap up Dublin whiskey firm

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A new study from Moody’s has predicted that the UK leaving the EU would hurt confidence and growth across Europe with the downturn being “particularly” harsh in Ireland.

While a Brexit would result in some small and gradual gains for Ireland as companies relocate from the UK - the overall impact would hurt the Irish economy.

The agency added that a British exit would result in two years of uncertainty as the terms of the exit are negotiated.

Moody’s says that this would affect British firms’ spending and investment decisions, leading to a reduction in GDP growth.

It also predicts that a Brexit would trigger a credit crunch for British companies.

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Meanwhile, a note from the National Treasury Management Agency has predicted that the UK leaving Europe could result in a €6bn increase in the level of foreign direct investment coming into Ireland.

It says that "Dublin would be an obvious choice for relocation" for firms based in the UK who need to operate within the EU to service the Single Market.

The NTMA added that the number of companies coming to Ireland would be dependent on the terms of post-exit trade discussions.

The IDA has also indicated that it has seen an increase in interest from firms who are looking at Ireland as a place to move to if the UK leaves.

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The FBI’s encryption stand-off with Apple continues. US authorities have tried to force the Californian firm to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook who killed 14 people in December of last year.

Speaking at Apple’s launch of the iPhone SE - CEO Tim Cook reiterated the firm’s commitment to fighting the court order asking for the phone to be unlocked. He says it would set a dangerous precedent.

However, the US Justice Department now claims that it may be able to unlock the phone without Apple’s cooperation, through a third party.

The Justice Department has now cancelled today’s court date with Apple - it will offer an update on its progress unlocking the phone on April 5th.

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UK-based drinks company Quintessential Brands has acquired the Dublin Whiskey Company as part of a €10 million investment.

This will include the building of a new whiskey distillery and visitor centre in the Liberties in Dublin - which the Dublin Whiskey Company has been planning.

The project is due to support 40 jobs during the construction phase - and will employ 15 staff when it opens in 2017.