Newspaper review: Nissan's Brexit boost and health tourism 'hit squads'

Nissan's promise to boost car production at its Sunderland plant makes front page news in several of Friday's newspapers.

The Financial Times says the Japanese firm's announcement was "a vote of confidence in the UK" in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The Guardian concurs. "Nissan pledge hands Brexit boost to May", it says.

Image copyright Nissan

The Times describes how the deal was done. It says Business Secretary Greg Clark is understood to have written to the firm's board making a promise that it will not have to bear the cost of punitive tariffs on car exports if Britain leaves the EU customs area without a free trade agreement in place.

But with Mr Clark's civil servants originally not keen on making a commitment on paper, the carmaker had "a wobble" which almost saw the deal collapse.

The paper says Sunderland residents breathed a sigh of relief when the announcement finally came as the city "has been living under a looming shadow of redundancies". Workers smiled and raised their hands in celebration, the paper reports.

The i says Number 10 "doesn't appear overly keen to provide details on the deal" and it's no small wonder as the PM is likely to have a bevy of other carmakers and businesses looking for the same "support and assurances" that Nissan was given.


Eye-catching headlines

Image copyright Reuters

Unexpected customer in the bagging area! - The Queen popped in to Waitrose to wander the aisles during the official opening of Poundbury, an experimental town on the outskirts of Dorchester. Her Majesty seemed especially cheered by the array of cheeses, the Mail remarked.

'Trumpkins' a scary sight this Hallowe'en - America has been gripped by a new craze: pumpkins carved to look like Donald Trump, the Telegraph reports. "His celebrated hair and widely mocked fake tan have inspired hundreds of 'Trumpkins'," it says.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Even UK supermarket Sainsbury's is cashing in on the 'Trumpkins' trend

'Sick joke'

"NHS loses millions to foreigners" is the main headline for the Daily Telegraph. The paper highlights a report revealing the NHS recoups only half the money it spends on overseas patients.

The paper says it understands the government is preparing to send "hit squads" of debt collectors to hospitals to take payments from foreigners along with plans to introduce charges for urgent care, including from Accident & Emergency departments, ambulance services, maternity units and GPs.

"A sick joke!" is how the Daily Mail describes the news. It says the analysis by the National Audit Office highlights how hospitals are particularly bad at recovering costs from EU residents and says most doctors aren't even aware they should be charging overseas patients.

"Surely it's up to administrators - who are forever bleating about lack of cash - to implement a system which ensures the NHS isn't taken for a ride," the paper argues.


'Man-up about contraception'

The Guardian says a scientific trial has shown a contraceptive jab for men to be almost as effective as the pill for women.

It reports that in a study for the World Health Organization, 350 men were given injections of hormones that were shown to dramatically lower their sperm count.

The Times says 20 men withdrew from the trial because of the side-effects. It quotes the co-author of the study, from the University of Edinburgh, as saying men need to "man up" if they want an effective contraception in their lifetimes.