The Papers: Irish border warning and Meghan latest

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    Image caption The Telegraph’s top story follows on from its front page story on Thursday, which claimed that Britain would stay tied to the customs union after Brexit while a solution to the Irish border issue was found. The paper leads on comments from Ireland’s premier, Leo Varadkar, who said avoiding a hard border “requires more than just customs” and the UK must abide by many of the single market rules after Brexit. The paper says his remarks will raise fears among Brexiteers.
    Image caption The comments by Ireland’s leader Mr Varadkar also make the Guardian’s front page. According to the paper, the decision to stay tied to the customs union beyond the end of 2020 might not be enough to avoid a hard border, Mr Varadkar said. Checks will still be needed at the border if the UK pulled out of the single market, he added.
    Image caption The Financial Times also covers the story. According to the newspaper, senior figures in Brussels have said the UK’s decision is far from the EU’s preferred approach, with one diplomat saying: “If this is it, we will have a crisis.”
    Image caption The Sun splashes with the latest on Meghan Markle’s father for a fourth day in a row. The paper leads with Ms Markle’s statement – which it calls dramatic – in which she expressed her sadness that her dad, Thomas, will not walk her down the aisle on Saturday.
    Image caption Friday’s Metro has published a full front page photo of grinning Ms Markle and Prince Harry at the rehearsal for the royal wedding. The newspaper reports that despite this week’s confusion over whether Ms Markle’s father, Thomas, will attend, she “looked relaxed”. It also addresses speculation over who might walk the bride down the aisle, saying Ms Markle’s mother is “widely expected” to do the honour.
    Image caption The Mail calls Ms Markle’s statement both extraordinary and dramatic, saying the bride-to-be put on a “brave face” after the news her father will not attend the wedding. The paper interprets her statement’s wording – that she had “always cared” for her father – as a rejection of criticism that she had not given him enough support.
    Image caption Meanwhile, the Times reports Britain is considering nearly doubling its military presence in Afghanistan by sending in more Army personnel as part of a Nato training mission. The newspaper says it comes after pressure from US President Donald Trump, after he pledged last year to send an extra 3,500 troops into Afghanistan. According to the report, a final UK plan has not been approved but sources say the PM is likely to make an announcement this summer.
    Image caption The Mirror claims the government is planning to appoint about 10 new Tory peers into the House of Lords in the coming days, while news headlines are dominated by the royal wedding. The newspaper quotes a source close to the Cabinet Office’s Honours Committee as saying: “It will be a good time to bury bad news.” Three new Labour peers and one from the Democratic Unionist Party are also expected to be created, the paper reports.
    Image caption The Express leads with its exclusive story revealing the launch of a new campaign, led by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, calling for legislation to fit every UK care home with CCTV to protect residents. According to Conservative MP Mr Grieve, putting surveillance cameras in all communal areas would help to tackle elderly abuse.
    Image caption The lead story for the Star responds to new government rules on gambling, which have reduced the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2. With its dramatic headline, the newspaper reports that the gambling industry has been left reeling and bookmakers are preparing for big losses, the closures of betting shops and cuts to jobs.
    Image caption The i is the only newspaper to lead with the latest on the Iran nuclear deal. It reports that the UK is aligning itself with its European allies, who support the deal. The paper asks whether Europe and the US’s different stances could threaten future links between the UK and the US.

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