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NI’s remaining BHS stores set to close

More of the BHS stores in Northern Ireland are set to close over the coming months.

There were four branches here – Lisburn has already shut its doors while Newtownabbey, Belfast and Holywood are expected to follow suit shortly.

It comes after the chain went into liquidation last month affecting 163 stores and a total of 11,000 jobs across the UK.

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Foster positive about common travel area continuing post-Brexit

First Minister Arlene Foster has said she believes the common travel area between the UK and Ireland can continue to exist post-Brexit.

She was speaking at a press conference following the emergency meeting of the British Irish Council meeting in Cardiff to discuss the impact of the Brexit vote.

Earlier, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he could not see how a common travel area on the island of Ireland could survive, considering that immigration had been a big issue in those supporting Britain leaving the EU.

However, Ms Foster was more positive about the border situation.

The hard border that we had in the 70s and 80s was there for a completely different reason than for customs and excise, it was because we were dealing with a terrorist threat at that particular point in time. I think it is eminently possible and probable and something that we will very much seek to do to ensure that the common travel area exists in a very real and meaningful way.

– First Minister Arlene Foster

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who was also in attendance, stressed the importance that there was no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and UK.

"It would not be acceptable either south or north that there would be a European Union border running from Dundalk to Derry, it would not be acceptable,” he commented.

“We're not going back to the days of checkpoints, towers and customs and all of that. That would be very retrograde step."

NI Secretary of State James Brokenshire reiterated that he was committed to making sure any border arrangements were as 'soft' as possible.

Political leaders in Cardiff for key talks over Brexit

Brexit will be top of the agenda. Credit: PA

A key meeting of the British and Irish Council over Brexit is set to take place in Wales.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will travel to Cardiff to take part in Friday’s talks with leaders from across the administrations.

The outcome of the historic referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union is expected to dominate the discussions.

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, who called the meeting, said it will provide an opportunity for national leaders to get together and look at the way forward.

He added: “The council plays a unique and important role in developing positive relationships between its members.

"During this tumultuous time, it is more important than ever to maintain the strength of this relationship and work together to map out a successful way forward."

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