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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 3:19 am    Post subject: UK will 'not pay €100bn divorce bill' Reply with quote

Brexit: UK will 'not pay €100bn divorce bill' says Davis

The UK will not pay a €100bn (£85bn) "divorce bill" to leave the EU, Brexit Secretary David Davis has insisted.

He told ITV's Good Morning Britain the UK would pay what was legally due, "not just what the EU wants".

It comes amid claims by the Financial Times that the financial settlement sought by the EU has risen from €60bn.

Mr Davis said the UK treated its EU "rights and obligations" seriously but it had "not seen any number", adding the EU was playing "rough and tough".

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier is due to publish his guidelines for the talks later although they are not likely to include any financial demands.

An EU source has told the BBC that officials in Brussels will not enter into a discussion about potential figures for a final bill, likely to be one of the hardest-fought and most sensitive areas of the Brexit process.

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Does that mean Brexit will not happen? Or just that they'll waste time bartering back and forth?
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:53 am    Post subject: And this is what the UK produces? Reply with quote

Wasn't sure where to actually put this so Fearless Leader please feel free to move it to somewhere more appropriate.....

I know I shouldn't have laughed when I read the headline after what has happened but the Brexit mob are really idiots aren't they....

Ex-Ukip MEP calls for death penalty for suicide bombers

A former Ukip MEP has demanded the death penalty be introduced – for suicide bombers.

Three people arrested in connection with Manchester terror attack

Janice Atkinson, who stood for Ukip in Folkstone and Hythe before becoming an independent politician, made the comments following the Manchester terror attack which claimed 22 lives on Monday night.

Atkinson said: ‘Much needs to be done to eradicate this evil.
‘But there is one simple step which we can take now: we must bring back the death penalty.

‘This is the first time I have called for this. For decades I have shifted in both directions: taking any life is wrong: it’s right to execute certain types of killers, but what about miscarriages of justice?’

Atkinson, who was expelled from Ukip amid an expense scandal, added: ‘Many will argue that I’m calling for revenge killings, motivated by hatred. Others will argue that I’m inhumane, that we live in a civilised society.

‘Then there will be those who say that the death penalty is not a deterrent, that the warped perpetrators want in any case to die.’
‘I’m not wringing my hands trying to find answers, I’m a politician, it’s my job to come up with answers.
‘Today, we should announce that the death penalty will be brought back for terrorist crimes,’ she said.

Maybe she should have said for failed suicide bombers but in any case yes if they are absolutely proved to be terrorists them maybe that could be the way to go but we don't want a repeat of the Irish people who were wrongly convicted of terrorism do we....
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:59 pm    Post subject: Is Theresa May’s ‘Hard Brexit’ Off the Table? Reply with quote

Is Theresa May’s ‘Hard Brexit’ Off the Table?
[Foreign Policy Magazine]
Philippe Legrain

For a country that prides itself on its political stability, Britain is doing a good impression of chaos. Plunged into turmoil a year ago by the referendum decision to leave the European Union, the country seemed set for the hardest of breaks with the EU under the leadership of its seemingly impregnable prime minister, Theresa May, who replaced David Cameron last July. But in elections on June 8, which May had called to seek a mandate for herself and her vision of Brexit, voters deprived her Conservative Party of its parliamentary majority. Suddenly, the Brexit process is up in the air again. The outcome could be a car-crash exit without a deal — or a much softer break than May envisaged.

Chaotic situations are, by definition, unpredictable. For now, May hobbles on as prime minister. She is seeking to cobble together a slim parliamentary majority with the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a hard-line, social conservative, evangelical Protestant party in Northern Ireland. She insists that she is ready to start the Brexit negotiations as planned on June 19.

But with May living on borrowed time and no majority to pass the legislation required to implement the various steps in the Brexit process, it is hard to see how meaningful negotiations can proceed. If and when May is toppled — Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson unconvincingly denies that he is plotting to oust her — the Conservative Party will need to spend months choosing a new leader. There is also the risk of fresh elections, either because the government loses a no-confidence vote or because a new Conservative leader and prime minister will want to seek their own mandate and majority.

Meanwhile, the Brexit clock is ticking. With May having triggered the formal EU exit process on March 29, Britain is set to leave the EU two years from then, with or without a deal. While the U.K. government could seek a two-year extension, all 27 remaining EU governments (the EU-27) would need to unanimously agree to the request. That is highly unlikely, since it would reduce their negotiating leverage and they are also keen to get the Brexit process over and done with. So there is a significant risk that Britain could crash out of the EU without a deal, simply because the government lacks the time or the means to agree to one.

But there is also the possibility of a much rosier outcome. With the Conservatives deprived of both a majority and a mandate for May’s hard Brexit, extreme Brexiteers who seek a rupture with the EU at any cost can no longer impose their will on the party and thus the country (although they can still cause trouble by rebelling). Instead, the election has emboldened moderate Tories who sought to remain in the EU and now seek a softer exit. Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, who bucked the anti-Tory swing by winning 12 more seats in Scotland, thereby keeping the Conservatives in office for now, has been quick to flex her muscles. She is demanding an “open Brexit” that “puts our country’s economic growth first.” And in her limited post-election reshuffle, May has appointed as her deputy Damian Green, one of the most Europhile Conservatives.

Most non-Conservative members of Parliament — including those of the DUP — also want a softer break with the EU that minimizes the damage to the economy and jobs. Some are now even suggesting seeking a broader, cross-party consensus on how best to proceed with Brexit. That seems very hard to achieve. Labour’s hard-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who did better than expected in the elections, thinks he is now on the brink of power (wrongly, in my view) and is thus likely to let the Conservatives deal with the mess that they have created. Even so, the government will now have to take on board the views of some opposition MPs if it is to pass any Brexit legislation, since any rebellion would otherwise deprive it of a majority.

If a weak and divided Britain decides that it wants a softer Brexit, it isn’t guaranteed to get one, however; the EU-27, which are in a stronger position than ever, would also have to agree. In response to Prime Minister May’s letter in March setting out Britain’s negotiating position, they have agreed on their own. Their initial priorities are entrenching the rights of EU citizens in Britain after Brexit, obtaining a big financial payment for spending commitments that Britain made while it was an EU member, and avoiding a “hard” border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that could destabilize the peace process.

To restore some goodwill, the U.K. government ought to move quickly to unilaterally guarantee EU citizens’ post-Brexit rights. The divorce bill would also loom less large if Britain committed to continue paying into the EU budget during a post-Brexit transition period during which it remained in the EU single market. As for the Irish border issue — a common priority, especially with a DUP-backed government — a transition period in which the U.K. remained in the customs union would address it temporarily. Only once the EU-27 deem that “sufficient progress” has been made on these topics are they willing to start negotiating a post-Brexit trade relationship.

Economically, both the EU-27 and Britain share an interest in the softest of Brexits: one that involves Britain remaining in both the EU single market and its customs union. Trade would scarcely be disrupted. London could remain Europe’s financial center. Cross-border supply chains could continue unimpeded. So too would the two-way free movement of people — a bugbear for many of those who voted to leave the EU and for May herself, who wants to control immigration from the EU.

Politically, however, the EU-27’s overriding interest is in ensuring that leaving the club is seen to make Britain worse off, so as to deter other restless members from leaving. Meanwhile, every financial center in the EU is also keen to grab some of London’s lucrative business. Even if Britain were to seek a softer Brexit, it might not be able to get it.

But it would unwise for the EU-27 to spurn an olive branch from a suitably chastened British government. Having to back down from its nationalist bravado about walking away without a deal would be humiliation enough. At a time when President Donald Trump is threatening a trade war with Germany (and thus the EU) and has cast doubt on his commitment to defend NATO allies, it would be foolish to alienate Britain, a valuable security ally and economic partner, if it sued for peace on EU terms — as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders ought to recognize.

A soft Brexit deal could initially consist of a transition period for several years after Britain exits the EU in 2019 during which the U.K. would remain in both the single market and the customs union. During that period, a future trading relationship would be negotiated. By then, passions may have cooled and pragmatism been restored.

Politicians ought to prepare the ground by starting to try to persuade British voters that EU migrants are not the source of all their problems — or at least convincing them that the economic price of imposing immigration controls is too great. If the U.K. were willing to retain free movement, perhaps with an emergency brake like Norway has, it could remain in the single market.

Failing that, Britain could still seek to remain in the customs union. That way, trade in goods could continue unimpeded by tariffs, customs checks, and other red tape (including on the Irish border); foreign car factories wouldn’t relocate. While this would prevent the U.K. striking trade deals with non-EU countries on goods, it could still seek to negotiate agreements on services trade, in which the U.K. specializes.

At the very least, in a constructive spirit and with goodwill, the U.K. and the EU-27 should aim to negotiate a deep and wide-ranging free trade agreement that allows people to move as freely as politically possible.

We live in times of political upheaval. Nothing is settled. That poses huge dangers, but it also offers opportunities to reverse bad decisions and make positive changes. There is still all to play for.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:07 pm    Post subject: EU Parliament to May: Improve offer or we'll block Brexit Reply with quote

EU Parliament tells May: Improve your offer to EU citizens or we'll block the Brexit deal
LONDON — The European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator has warned Britain that the offer made to EU citizens by Theresa May's UK government will be rejected by MEPs. Writing for the Guardian, EU Parliamentarian Guy Verhofstadt has called proposals put forward by the UK government a "damp squib" ...

LONDON — The European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator has warned Britain that the offer made to EU citizens by Theresa May's UK government will be rejected by MEPs.

Writing for the Guardian, EU Parliamentarian Guy Verhofstadt has called proposals put forward by the UK government a "damp squib" which would leave millions of Europeans with "second-class citizenship".

"The European Union has a common mission to extend, enhance and expand rights, not reduce them. We will never endorse their retroactive removal," Verhofstadt writes.

"The European Parliament will reserve its right to reject any agreement that treats EU citizens, regardless of their nationality, less favourably than they are at present. This is a question of the basic fundamental rights and values that are at the heart of the European project."

May's government last month announced plans to make a "generous offer" to EU citizens living in Britain regarding their rights and legal status after Brexit. However, the proposals would leave EU citizens in Britain stripped of numerous rights, including the protection of the European Court of Justice and right to bring family members to Britain.

The government also proposes to create two classes of EU citizens — those who arrive in the UK before Britain leaves the EU and those who arrive afterwards. Those who arrive before an as-yet-to-be agreed cut-off date will have the right to apply for settled status in the UK after living here continuously for five years.

However, those who arrive after the cut-off date will not. According to the government's plans, those who arrive after the cut-off date will be allowed to stay for a "temporary period" but "should have no expectation of guaranteed settled status."

Verhofstadt — who is one of the EU's most vocal critics of Britain's decision to leave the 28-nation bloc — said the UK government's plans "would cast a dark cloud of vagueness and uncertainty over the lives of millions of Europeans".

The former Belgian prime minister adds that what May's government has offered falls short of matching the proposals put forward by the EU's head Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. "Barnier wants British people and Europeans to keep the same rights and the same level of protection they currently enjoy under European law," he argues.

He also takes aim at the UK government's proposal for two classes of EU citizenship, both for its alleged failure to guarantee EU citizens the same rights they enjoyed before Brexit, and the administrative chaos it would unleash on the British civil service. "It also seems that Britain wants to become the new champion of red tape," Verhofstadt claims.

Here is a key extract from Verhofstadt's piece:

"Comparing it with the proposal of the EU’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, the differences are striking. Barnier wants British people and Europeans to keep the same rights and the same level of protection they currently enjoy under European law. All rights acquired before the date of withdrawal will be directly enforceable, with lifelong protection, full reciprocity and equal treatment: a position as simple and clear as it is fair. That is what a majority of the British people want, when they indicate they seek to keep their EU citizenship.

"The UK response came three weeks later. It was a damp squib, proposing that Europeans obtain the status of “third-country nationals” in the UK, with fewer rights than British citizens are offered throughout the EU. Europeans will not only lose their right to vote in local elections, but family members will be subject to minimum income requirements, and it is unclear what the status of “post-Brexit” babies would be. This carries a real risk of creating second-class citizenship. The proposal is even in contradiction with the Vote Leave manifesto, which promised to treat EU citizens “no less favourably than they are at present."

Verhofstadt's latest remarks will serve as yet another stark reminder of the challenge facing Prime Minister May, Brexit Secretary David Davis and the rest of Britain's negotiating team in striking a divorce deal that satisfies both their European counterparts and the demands of Westminster and the British public.

He also warns that Article 50 talks being extended beyond the March 2019 end date is an "unthinkable" courts of action, as it would result in negotiations overlapping with European elections.

The EU Parliament is the 28-nation bloc's only directed elected body and houses 750 parliamentarians. It will play a major role in the Brexit process and, as Verhoftadt warns, will have the power to block any Brexit deal that does not meet its demands. "In early 2019 MEPs will have a final say on the Brexit deal. We will work closely with the EU negotiator and the 27 member states to help steer negotiations," Verhofstadt says.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:21 am    Post subject: UK Ready to Pay Up to 40B Euros to Leave EU Reply with quote

UK Ready to Pay Up to 40B Euros to Leave EU, Newspaper Reports
VOA News Sat, Aug 5 4:48 PM PDT

LONDON — Britain is prepared to pay up to 40 billion euros ($47 billion) as part of a deal to leave the European Union, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported, citing three unnamed sources familiar with Britain's negotiating strategy.

The European Union has floated a figure of 60 billion euros and wants significant progress on settling Britain's liabilities before talks can start on complex issues such as future trading arrangements.

The government department responsible for Brexit talks declined to comment on the Sunday Telegraph article. So far, Britain has given no official indication of how much it would be willing to pay.

The newspaper said British officials were likely to offer to pay 10 billion euros a year for three years after leaving the EU in March 2019, then finalize the total alongside detailed trade talks.

Payments would be made only as part of a deal that included a trade agreement, the newspaper added.

"We know ([the EU's] position is 60 billion euros, but the actual bottom line is 50 billion euros. Ours is closer to 30 billion euros but the actual landing zone is 40 billion euros, even if the public and politicians are not all there yet," the newspaper quoted one "senior Whitehall source" as saying.

Whitehall is the London district where British civil servants and ministers are based.

'Go whistle'

A second Whitehall source said Britain's bottom line was "30 billion euros to 40 billion euros," and a third source said Prime Minister Theresa May was willing to pay "north of 30 billion euros," the Sunday Telegraph reported.

David Davis, the British minister in charge of Brexit talks, said on July 20 that Britain would honor its obligations to the EU but declined to confirm that Brexit would require net payments.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit advocate, said last month that the EU could "go whistle" if it made "extortionate" demands for payment.

Last week, the Bank of England said Brexit uncertainty was weighing on the economy. Finance Minister Philip Hammond wants to avoid unsettling businesses further.

If Britain cannot conclude an exit deal, trade relations would be governed by World Trade Organization rules, which would allow both parties to impose tariffs and customs checks and leave many other issues unsettled.

The EU also wants agreement by October on rights of EU citizens already in Britain, and on border controls between the Irish Republic and the British province of Northern Ireland, before trade and other issues are discussed.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:40 am    Post subject: May's cabinet is 'split three ways' over Brexit transition Reply with quote

Theresa May's cabinet is 'split three ways' over Brexit transition
Nick Reilly, Yahoo News UK

Theresa May’s cabinet is reportedly still divided over the best way to deal with Britain’s exit from the European Union, with hard Brexit backers reportedly causing divisions as they call for the shortest transitional period available.

According to new analysis, ministers have been split into three factions as they continue to differ on a transitional period should be used.

The claims come after Theresa May failed to gain a parliamentary majority in June’s election – with detractors claiming that her government is fragile and unable to get the best deal for Britain during negotiations with the EU.

One faction reportedly sees Chancellor Philip Hammond backed by Amber Rudd, who are aiming to keep the transition as gradual as possible in order to minimise economic risks and ensuring and access to the single market is retained by businesses for a three year period.

But on the other side, Liam Fox is reportedly calling for a transition period that is as short as possible, with the ability to negotiate trade deals immediately.

A third faction reportedly sees Theresa May in the middle, backed by deputy Damian Green and leading Brexiteers Michael Gove and David Davis – who are said to support a sustained transitional period that will allow for restrictions on EU migration and the rejection of single market membership.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:56 pm    Post subject: Britons should be given second Brexit vote Reply with quote

Britons should be given second Brexit vote - David Miliband
Reuters 7 hours ago

LONDON (Reuters) - Former foreign secretary David Miliband called on Saturday for voters to be given a second referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union.

Writing in the Observer newspaper Miliband, foreign minister under a Labour government between 2007 and 2010, called Brexit an "unparalleled act of economic self-harm" and said there should be another public vote once the final terms of Britain's exit are known.

Although no longer a serving British politician, Miliband - brother of former Labour leader Ed Miliband - is still seen as an influential centrist voice.

His criticism joins that of a growing number of pro-EU figures from across the political spectrum who say Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy is economically damaging and that voters should be given a chance to halt the process.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:59 pm    Post subject: Brexit transition cannot be back door to staying in EU Reply with quote

Top UK ministers: Brexit transition cannot be back door to staying in EU
By William James, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain needs a transition period to soften its exit from the European Union, but it cannot be used to stop Brexit, two senior ministers said on Saturday, signalling a truce between rival factions in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet.

May's Brexit strategy has been the subject of open debate among her top team ever since a botched June election which weakened her authority and exposed differences of opinion over how Britain should manage its departure from the bloc.

However the outspoken pro-European Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and ardent Brexiteer trade minister Liam Fox looked to end the debate by setting out a joint position in a newspaper article.

"We believe a time-limited interim period will be important to further our national interest and give business greater certainty - but it cannot be indefinite; it cannot be a back door to staying in the EU," Hammond and Fox wrote in a joint article for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

Hammond had previously angered pro-Brexit colleagues and some voters by raising the prospect of an exit deal that saw little immediate change on issues like immigration when Britain leaves in March 2019, and which could last until 2022.

Such an arrangement was criticised by euroskeptics as a betrayal of the swift Brexit they wanted, and has even raised fears the process would be stopped altogether.

But the article, due to appear in Sunday's newspaper, said that the government strategy was not being watered down and Britain would leave on schedule albeit with a transition period.

"We are both clear that during this period the UK will be outside the (EU) single market and outside the customs union and will be a ‘third-country’ not party to EU treaties," they said.

However it also confirmed that immigration controls - one of the key issues for voters who backed Brexit - would not stop all EU workers coming to Britain.

"During this period our borders must continue to operate smoothly; goods bought on the internet must still cross borders; businesses must still be able to supply their customers across the EU, and our innovative, world-leading companies must be able to hire the talent they need, including from within the EU," they said.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:15 am    Post subject: Britain Was ‘Stupid’ to Vote for Brexit Reply with quote

Top EU Official Says Britain Was ‘Stupid’ to Vote for Brexit
Aoife White, Ian Wishart


The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union was “stupid” and only the will of the British people can stop it, Martin Selmayr, the chief of staff to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said.

“Brexit is bad, and it’s a stupid decision,” Selmayr said at a conference in Brussels on Monday. “The only people who can reverse it would be the British people and I am not a dreamer, I am a realist. Brexit will happen on March 29, 2019.”

German official Selmayr, one of the most powerful people in the EU hierarchy, was speaking two days after the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, was quoted by U.K. media as saying that British people need to be “ educated ” about the price they’ll pay for their decision. On Monday he clarified that he wanted to explain the EU to all nationalities.

The U.K. and EU are embroiled in increasingly bad-tempered negotiations over the terms of Britain’s withdrawal. The British government is refusing to accept that it has financial obligations beyond its regular annual membership fees; in return, the EU is refusing to open talks on a future trade arrangement.

Selmayr said that while it was “legally” possible for the U.K. to reverse its decision, “it would be arrogant of us” to say the EU could force it to happen.

“The door of the European Union after March 2019 will always be open, and to all of our British friends, of course that is something that we humanly wish,” Selmayr said. “But politically at the moment this option is not on the table.”

Although he has no direct role in the negotiations, Selmayr has commented sporadically about Brexit since the referendum in 2016. He has said the divorce won’t be a success for Britain, took to Twitter to complain about a London decision to delay a routine review of the EU’s budget in the run-up to June’s general election and was widely blamed in the U.K. and Germany for leaking details of a confidential dinner in April attended by him, Juncker and Prime Minister Theresa May.

Time is running out for the U.K. to get a deal on arrangements for its departure from the EU, with complex separation issues, the money argument and a plan for a transition period far from being resolved. It’ll leave the bloc in 19 months whether it has managed to get a deal or not.

‘Serious Consequences’

Barnier was quoted on the BBC on Sunday as saying the EU intended “to teach people” in the U.K. about what leaving the bloc’s single market means.

“There are extremely serious consequences of leaving the single market and it hasn’t been explained to the British people,” Barnier was quoted by the BBC as saying on Saturday at the Ambrosetti forum in Cernobbio, Italy. The European Commission declined to confirm the comments were made.

Barnier tweeted on Monday: “I said Brexit = occasion to explain single market benefits in all countries, incl my own. We do not want to ‘educate’ or ‘teach lessons’.”

With Brexit negotiations scheduled to resume on Sept. 18, Barnier, who met Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in Brussels on Monday, said there’s still work to be done before talk of a breakthrough on how the U.K.-Irish border will work after Brexit.

“While our discussions were fruitful” during negotiations with the U.K. last week, “it’s clear that a lot more substantial work needs to be done,” Barnier told reporters.
Dans un mois, dans un an, comment souffrirons-nous
Seigneur, que tant de mers me séparent de vous?
Et que le jour commence, et que le jour finisse
Sans que jamais Titus puisse voir Bérénice?

In a month, in a year, how will we steel our hearts
My lord, to being from each other oceans apart?
And that day after day dawns and then dies
Without our ever being able to see each other's eyes?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:50 am    Post subject: More Brexits down the line? Reply with quote

The EU's hard stance in the negotiations for Britain to leave the Union will only invite more Brexits down the line

Last week's headlines in the United Kingdom focused once again on the words of two men: the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit secretary for the UK government, David Davies. In the ongoing negotiation between Her Majesty's Government and the European Union, three main issues remain unresolved, notably the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, EU citizens' rights who reside in the United Kingdom, and the infamous 'Brexit divorce bill'. The latter has caused considerable outrage in the British public, as the French negotiator demands a full £90 billion ($117 billion) in payments in order to pay for the expenses caused by the British exit.

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