Northern Ireland

NI paper review: The Irish border and a new kidney

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The movement of goods across the Irish border and joy after a kidney transplant all feature in Thursday's papers.

We will start with the Newsletter, which headlines on comments from the Ulster Farmer's Union (UFU) on the latest Brexit developments.

The union argues that the government's belated plan for what would happen in Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal, would be "catastrophic" for farming.

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New rules revealed on Wednesday would allow farmers from the Republic of Ireland to sell their produce in Northern Ireland without having to pay additional tariffs.

However, the paper reports that there will be no guarantee that Dublin will reciprocate, allowing Northern Ireland farmers to have free access to their market.

The UFU said that the rules threatened "to devastate Northern Ireland's farming industry".

UFU president Ivor Ferguson said it was "further proof that a no-deal Brexit would have catastrophic consequences for Northern Ireland".

Bloody Sunday

Next, we move onto the Irish News, which looks ahead to the Bloody Sunday decision later on Thursday.

The newspaper says that at least three former parachute regiment members are expected to face prosecution.

The Public Prosecution Service is due to make its decisions public at 11:00 GMT on Thursday, having weighed up 125,000 pages of material.

Charges, including murder and attempted murder, have been considered against 17 Army veterans.

Thirteen people were killed and 15 injured on 30 January 1972, when troops fired more than 100 times as trouble broke out at a civil rights march in Londonderry.

The Irish News states that the families of the civil rights marchers who were killed almost fifty years ago, will be told the decision before the rest of the world.

'Wild West'

Now, back to Brexit, as the Belfast Telegraph reports that NI business leaders breathed a sigh of relief after MP's votes to reject a no-deal Brexit.

NI Chamber of Commerce chief Ann McGregor said the vote should be followed by legislative action, but warned a disorderly Brexit "is still a clear and present danger".

The Telegraph also reports that road transport companies warn that Northern Ireland would become a "wild west" for smugglers after the government's latest border plan.

The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association also said that tariff-free movement of goods from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland, would leave many NI firms just weeks from going bust.

The government, however, said the new plan was "strictly necessary" and would be implemented unless and until a trading agreement could be reached between the UK and the EU.

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Also inside the Belfast Telegraph some more positive news.

The paper reports that a woman who donated a kidney to her ex-husband says she has been left astonished by support form well-wishers around the world.

Sharon Traynor, from Tyrone, gave a kidney to ex-husband Peter who was suffering from a degenerative organ disease.

'Life changing'

The transplant took place at Belfast City Hospital, with Sharon telling the newspaper that she was "excited" to help her ex-partner.

Both Sharon and Peter were discharged last week, where both operations were a success and were described as "life changing".

Sharon said: "Peter's kidney function went up from 6% to 49% in three days which was unreal. It has given him a new chance at life".

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