Could Prime Minister Boris Johnson break up the UK?

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  • #83405 Reply
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    Brydo
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    The Scottish Conservative (and Unionist) party has enjoyed something of resurgence in recent years under the energetic leadership of Ruth Davidson.

    The party’s opponents are convinced that Boris Johnson as prime minister could put an end to all that – and could even put an end to the union between Scotland the rest of the UK.

    It’s true that Mr Johnson could hardly be more different from the down to earth, plain speaking and Remain-voting Ms Davidson. The two are not friends and have vehemently disagreed before.

    Some observers like to speculate that Boris will appear to Scottish voters to be the very epitome of the upper-class English ruling caste that Scots so dislike. But policy may well prove to be more important than personality.

    Mr Johnson appeared to have a weak grasp of the dynamics of devolution when he proposed tax changes that take no account of the fact that income tax rates in Scotland are set by the Scottish Parliament.

    But since then he has promised Scottish Tory MPs he will set up a “union unit” inside No 10 to check every policy. If he knows what he doesn’t know, then maybe he can avoid these gaffes as PM.

    It’s Brexit that may be his undoing, in so many ways. In Remain-voting Scotland, his problem is that the idea of a no deal Brexit is far less palatable than it is in the rest of the UK. The harder the Brexit Boris delivers, the more the Tory party in Scotland could suffer.

    If Prime Minister Johnson [he will officially take on the role this Wednesday] pursues a Brexit policy at odds with what most voters in Scotland would like to see, then it’s possible they may change their minds about whether remaining part of the UK is in their best interests. Some recent polling evidence suggests as many as 60% of voters could vote “yes” to independence if we leave the EU with no deal.

    In the end it may not be the precise details of any Brexit deal that stokes desire for independence – or indeed the character of any individual politician – but a sense that Scotland has different aspirations from the rest of the UK, which can’t be reconciled within the current union.

    If Mr Johnson wants to keep the kingdom united, he will need to take care not fan those flames.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

Viewing 25 replies - 51 through 75 (of 552 total)
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  • #84274 Reply
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    Mike 700
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    if Scotland became Independent, Brydo, what on Earth makes anyone think , I wonder , that anything much would change ?

    Scotland, even though independent would still require huge support from the hated Westminster for many years to come, especially during the transition period when any disputes are heard and settled,

    Just from one item alone, ‘the matter of security to the UK, ‘ it is very likely that UK territorial waters ( which include Scotland’s ) will remain as they are now, in any Withdrawal agreement between Scotland and the U.K., until that is ‘Scotland’ is able to undertake maritime protection and security duties alone, which could be many years down the road, indeed, if at all?

    The U.K. Government will not allow these islands , including Scotland & Scottish islands, independent or not, be put at risk by Scotland not being able to provide the assurance of security to the UK!

    Believe me, there are huge Security implications for both an Independent Scotland and the UK which have been ignored by the SNP in the drive for Independence, especially the huge huge costs of equipment both on the water and in the air, not forgetting ground operations and ongoing running costs!

    These costs alone could potentially bring an Independent Scotland to it’s knees very quickly!

    Taxation from a working population of less than 2.4 million ( Less those relocating to the UK working in Banking & FServices which are likely to transfer services South of the border, plus the MOD personnel, from the closure of The Trident Base, plus forced and voluntary relocation of other defence bases and personnel.) is just not going to be large enough to cover the requirements of Running the country, so the current debt levels will pale into insignificance compared to whats to come !

    The SNP say that the People living in a country are best placed to run it- well that’s a pretty puerile argument, as they want the EU to rule in Scotland, and especially as conversely they claim , that ‘the people in the UK are not best placed to run it’ , making their thinking “ Scots are ok to run their economy, but English are not ok to run the whole economy “.

    Then we have the Barnett Formula –

    From Barnett himself , and I quote –

    “I have become more troubled by the so-called ‘Barnett Formula’ with every passing year. It is clear that what was then a short-term political fix has no place in deciding long-term government spending. It is grossly unfair tha Scotland should receive more money than the regions of England or Wales when that decision is not based on actual need.

    At the moment, Scotland is given around £1,600 a head in annual central government grants more than England. That is manifestly unjust and allows the Scottish parliament to provide all sorts of things, such as free prescription charges and university education, that the English can only dream of. “
    Unquote.

    The removal of this funding alone Brydo, will hit Scotland where it really hurts ?

    The Scottish economy is not in such a good state , nowhere near in as good a state , as the SNP like everybody to think, and accordingly, taxes are rising etc etc, and after independence, who knows to what dizzy heights !
    .
    Some argue that INDY is not based on Oil ‘for a lot of Scots’, but unfortunately planned future budgeting & therefore expenditure etc is based on the assumption of rising oil prices.

    Hoping that oil prices will rise and that Scotland will keep all the revenues and be able to instantly rejoin the EU and regain the subsidies ,is nonsense of course, because, if Scotland is eventually granted membership of the EU, and if as the SNP want everyone to believe, “Scotland’s GDP rises”, then EU subsidies will decrease and ‘ on top of this additional cost, membership fees ‘ will also increase, both facts, however, the SNP have consistently failed to mention this to the electorate!

    Just a couple of points out of hundreds in the argument over independence Brydo, but enough to highlight the fact that it is not true Independence that the SNP dream of , just Independence from the hated Westminster , and that Independence will not gain anything for the people, in fact it is more than likely to reduce incomes, and public spending.

    But, I still say that if Turkeys vote for Christmas , then so be it!

    ..Enjoy the evening , I’m just out to the Rugby Club!

    #84275 Reply
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    Brydo
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    Have a pint on me Mike lol.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84276 Reply
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    Wigwam
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    I think we’ve exhausted that discussion for now, following Mike’s very informative contribution.

    I am now off to solder a joint on a leaking watering can. Wish me luck.

     

    #84281 Reply
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    Brydo
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    From what i understand the info below is what is being proposed by the SNP with regards to the armed forces.

    AN INDEPENDENT Scotland’s military forces would include four frigates, 20,000 personnel and 16 fast jet Typhoons, according to the white paper.

    The frigates would be replaced by four Type-26 frigates in the next decade which the Scottish Government hopes will guarantee shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde. The navy would also include marines, four mine counter-measures vessels, two offshore patrol vessels, four to six patrol boats from the Royal Navy’s current fleet and auxiliary support ships, and would be manned by 2,000 regular and at least 200 reserve personnel.

    The air force would be mostly based in Lossiemouth in Moray with 12 Typhoons possibly increasing to 16 by 2026. It would also have around six Hercules C130J aircraft as well as maritime surveillance aircraft.

    It is estimated that the Scottish Defence Force will cost £2.5 billion a year and will be built up in three stages over the decade.

    All of the equipment would come from equipment the Scottish Government would get as its share of the negotiations with the rest of the UK.

    The Trident base would not be closed but would continue to be used by Nato and other allies.

    Lossiemouth  could be used as a Nato airbase.

     

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84294 Reply
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    Mike 700
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    It is just a political proposal Brydo, a ‘wishlist’ in the hope that the U.K. Government will ‘play ball’, but frankly there is no chance of success?

    I could have written that, and so could you have done, it is a fairy tale to be added to the bag of snake oil from Alec Salmond.

    It is more than likely that we will insist on keeping the defence of these islands under our control, especially in the first 5-10 years, with some NATO input, and Nicki will actually, in private, breathe a big sigh of relief at that , because Scotland simply cannot afford a three winged defence force of the type and magnitude you are describing ,with £2.5 billion, even if you could raise it, not being enough?

    Having said that, we are looking to shift a couple of Typhoons, as they are being replaced and a dozen or so have gone back to become spares, as I understand it?

    I’m sure that several will become available to Scotland , in time, along with a full motion SIM , for training purposes, and as we gain the confidence in Scotland’s capability, and with new aircrew , coming on line eventually, we may increase the numbers , on the assumption that you can afford them – it doesn’t happen overnight of course, and is someway down the road, and frankly, independence will not really give you your own defence force, nor do I think that your supporters will want to bear the cost of such a venture, a defence partnership with the U.K., is the most likely outcome.

    A couple of C 130j’s could indeed be spared, for maritime use, once again along with a full motion SIM ( which I have flown a couple of times , at BAE, before the aircraft entered service with the RAF ) at the time, the new shaped propellor on the J was causing a number of problems with US aircrew, but our guys were mastering them very well!

    Frigates eh., wow , even if we had enough to spare ( since the Iran piracy, have you noticed how few operational vessels we actually have? ) which we haven’t, purchase and running costs , maintenance, dry dock, training exercises etc, some jointly with NATO, would break the bank !

    Irrespective of Nicci’s rhetoric and spin, Scotland’s deficit is very high already and getting worse, even with Barnet , and it is basically explained by Junior school mathematics?

    Revenues are just over £300 per head lower than for the UK whilst spending is more than £1,500 per head higher, so a lot to make up currently, without the extra expenditure of a defence force.

    Nah, pie in the Sky Brydo, and part of a set of negotiations likely to go on for years, just like this thread eh?

    I am giving up tonight, have a good one.

    Regards

    ,

    #84296 Reply
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    Brydo
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    Mike I have asked WMC for your contact details which will be sent directly to Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon. We have all these guys in place working 25/8 to try to make ends meet and all we really need is you, saved us a fortune lol.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84306 Reply
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    Magnum Mike
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    Brydo sorry to go off topic but it was the last ever still game last night they are not making any more I’m sure your wife will miss it as much as we will has been so funny

    I like Magnums....

    #84565 Reply
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    fwipperie
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    Article reported today:- Looks like WTO is on the cards?

    Boris Johnson has no intention of renegotiating the withdrawal agreement and a no-deal Brexit is his “central scenario”, European diplomats have been told, amid hardening evidence in Westminster that the government is expecting to crash out of the EU.

    Brussels diplomats briefed after a meeting between the prime minister’s chief envoy and senior EU figures in Brussels said that Britain’s refusal to compromise was understood to have been clear to those attending.

    Instead David Frost, the government’s new chief Europe adviser, is said to have sought discussions on how negotiations could be reset after the UK crashes out on 31 October.

    “It was clear UK does not have another plan,” a senior EU diplomat said of the meetings with Frost. “No intention to negotiate, which would require a plan. A no deal now appears to be the UK government’s central scenario.”

    The disclosure came as No 10 insisted the government was “ready to negotiate in good faith” but made clear that Johnson would only agree to a deal without what he refers to as the “undemocratic backstop” – the mechanism to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland that could keep the UK in a customs union. The EU has repeatedly said the backstop is not up for negotiation.

    The UK’s failure to provide any proposals on how to deal with the controversial Irish backstop was felt to be significant by EU officials who spoke to the Guardian.

    Frost was said to have told the officials that a technological solution to the Irish border was the UK’s preferred option before admitting that “it would not be ready now for Brexit”.

    “Even if EU gave up the backstop there is no alternative,” a diplomat concluded of the discussion.

    “That message has now gone loud and clear to capitals, it was useful to hear it from horse’s mouth,” the EU source said. “Reality is sinking in.”

    With no new UK-EU talks scheduled, there were meanwhile signs in Westminster that Johnson’s government was readying itself for a no-deal Brexit and preparing to do battle with Tory MPs who have said they will join with opposition parties to prevent that outcome.

    The prime minister’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, instructed special advisers across the government to keep on top of preparations for a no deal Brexit early on Monday morning and attacked Philip Hammond, the former chancellor, for failing to get the country ready.

    Over the weekend, it became clear he believes that Johnson could simply refuse to resign in the event of losing a no-confidence motion and schedule an general election for November – after leaving the EU at the end of October.

    Johnson said on Monday that an election was the “last thing” he wanted. But his official spokesman stressed at his regular briefing for journalists that Brexit would take place on 31 October “whatever the circumstances”, even if parliament has voted against a no-deal departure or passed a confidence motion against the prime minister necessitating an election.

    Conservative rebels plotting against a no-deal Brexit are already considering how to thwart No 10, believing an alternative government could potentially be created with a majority to challenge Johnson if he loses a confidence vote.

    Corbyn indicated on Monday that he may be prepared to bring a no-confidence vote in the government very soon after parliament returns from its summer break in September.

    “We will do everything to stop no deal, including a no-confidence vote at the appropriate very early time to do it,” he said on a visit to flood-stricken Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire. “The prime minister seems to be trying to slip no deal through, slip past parliament and slip past the British people.

    “Sorry, no deal will be really serious. Serious for food prices, for medical supplies, for trade, for investment, and drive us straight into the hands of the sort of trade deal that Donald Trump wants to do with Boris Johnson.

    “I’m sorry, it’s not on, it’s not acceptable. We will do everything we can to block it.”

    Several Conservative MPs, including Hammond, have indicated they could vote with Labour to bring Johnson down if he is set on a no-deal Brexit. Friends of Hammond also hit back at Cummings on Monday, saying it was “simply untrue” that the Treasury had failed to prepare.

    “The bigger question is why is Dominic Cummings, the de facto deputy PM, so keen to spend yet more taxpayers’ money on something that his boss insists has only a one in a million chance of happening?” one Hammond ally said.

    EU officials increasingly believe the UK is heading for a no-deal exit after their meetings with Frost, who replaced Theresa May’s chief negotiator, Olly Robbins. Last week, Frost met Clara Martínez Alberola, the head of cabinet for the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker; Stéphanie Riso, a senior official in Michel Barnier’s negotiations taskforce, who was a key player in drafting the terms of the backstop, and Ilze Juhansone, the deputy secretary general at the commission.

    Related: We need a Brexit deal – so why is Johnson indulging in cynical electioneering? | Simon Jenkins

    The demand over the weekend by the Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, that Barnier seek a new negotiating mandate from the EU’s leaders to allow fresh talks was seen as mere “noise”.

    Diplomats said the message was seen as “confrontational – unhelpful” but that more in that vein was expected at a meeting of the G7 in Biarritz, when Johnson will meet Juncker.

    A spokeswoman for the European commission said the impact of the UK crashing out would be proportionally heavier on the British side of the Channel.

    The spokeswoman added: “For a negotiation to be successful it takes two to tango. If the music and the rhythm is not right then … you have no dance.

    “But that doesn’t mean that it was a failure. I think both sides negotiated with the very best intentions and very best efforts. The outcome on the table is the best deal possible and I don’t think there is any fault or blame to be looked for in this.”

    A UK government spokesman said: “We are ready to negotiate in good faith an alternative to the anti-democratic backstop.

    “There is abundant scope to find the technological solutions necessary – and these solutions can and will be found, in the context of the free trade agreement that we will negotiate with the EU after 31 October.”

    The spokesman added: “The prime minister wants to meet EU leaders and negotiate a new deal – one that abolishes the anti-democratic backstop.

    “We will throw ourselves into the negotiations with the greatest energy and the spirit of friendship. The fact is the withdrawal agreement has been rejected by parliament three times and will not pass in its current form so – if the EU wants a deal – it needs to change its stance. Until then, we will continue to prepare to leave the EU on 31 October.”

    #84585 Reply
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    Mike 700
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    Well, well, Barnier, Juncker, Remainers, the EU , everyone and his Uncle has said ‘ the Withdrawal Agreement will not be re-negotiated ‘, Corbyn has led the campaign in Parliament to throw out the Withdrawal Agreement -3 times!

    The new PM has said that he will honour the referendum result, and we leave on the 31 October, come what may, because ‘that is the law’ , incidentally passed by a majority in Parliament – the Law, no if’s or but’s , the Law!

    All could have been over by now, but Remainers have used every bit of skullduggery they can think of, to thwart the democratic will of the people, but still lay the blame at the Government’s door . I am now ashamed that I voted remain,

    They run around like headless chickens, not knowing that there is no future for them, it’s over, but they will not lie down and they loudly squawk now that ‘ The PM -potentially- will be using skullduggery ‘ also, to get the people’s wishes through – so, it’s ok for them, but not ok for him to use every means possible.

    Leaving without a deal on 31 October does not mean ‘that’s it’, for ever, which is the Remainers message , along with Armageddon , the Plague, no more Eurovision Song Contest etc etc etc.

    If it’s ‘no deal ‘ the blame lies fairly and squarely with remain, not with the Government, because the deal was there- not great , but preferable to no deal –  however, as already said, no deal is not for ever – come November 1st., negotiations begin on a new and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU and on they will go until everyone is satisfied!

    Maybe during this time, we will be awaiting another General Election, with BoJo facing up to the Remainers, with either a pact with Farage, or we will see the demise of his Brexit party, which will have done its job in the U.K. and will be redundant by then?

    In any event, remain Candidates , of all parties, standing in Leave areas will likely be consigned to the bin, and my prediction is that BoJo will return with a larger majority than now, however, probably not the landslide some are predicting?

    #84623 Reply
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    fwipperie
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    I feel we could see a majority for Johnson in the order of 40-50 seats if an election happens soon with Corbyn heading up Labour. I listened to Dominic Grieve today on the radio. All of his insults about Boris could, and  in fact do, apply to him too but self obsession and the feeling of self righteousness tends to obscure the brain from reality.   All I hear from remainers is the usual rhetoric of cliff edges and crashes, no substance, just scare stories.

    #84624 Reply
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    Wigwam
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    There’s a certain amount of that rhetoric on here…

    #84701 Reply
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    Brydo
    Participant

    No-deal Brexit: Can MPs overrule the new prime minister?

    As Brexit day approaches, two questions are swirling around the Westminster village: Will Boris Johnson pursue a no deal and could MPs stop him?

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK will leave the EU on 31 October “do or die” – even if it means walking away without a deal.

    With no ongoing formal negotiations with the EU, this is looking increasingly likely.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48519746?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics&link_location=live-reporting-story

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84703 Reply
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    Wigwam
    Participant

    Remarkable, isn’t it, that even the BBC is waking up to the inevitability of Brexit.  Whatever will they talk about once we’ve left?

    #84704 Reply
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    Brydo
    Participant

    How the hell do we get back in lol ?

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84709 Reply
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    fwipperie
    Participant

    Who will blink first?

    #84750 Reply
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    Brydo
    Participant

    I think BJ is going with the right tactic and there have been subtle moves on the side of the EU so it will be an interesting few months.

    I see the Labour party are trying to engage with the SNP saying it would be a decision for the Scottish parliament as to whether another independence vote is held.

    I smell a vote of no confidence very soon.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84755 Reply
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    Wigwam
    Participant

    Doesn’t seem to me it would be in Labour’s best interest to call a vote of no confidence.  If the government lost, Johnson could play for time for a week or two, then invite the House to dissolve parliament. If they agreed, there would be a GE, which would take place in November.  Meanwhile we would have left the EU, the Brexit party would have no purpose, the Libdems would have no policies and in a more or less straight fight between Corbyn and Johnson, I suggest the Tories would walk it.

    #84760 Reply
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    Brydo
    Participant

    You say Wigwam “If the government lost, Johnson could play for time for a week or two, then invite the House to dissolve parliament”. However during this time if another MP can show they have a majority in the house the current prime minister is expected to give way.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84763 Reply
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    Wigwam
    Participant

    Expected perhaps, but not legally obliged as I understand it.  He could procrastinate going into negotiations of his own.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Avatar Wigwam.
    #84767 Reply
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    Brydo
    Participant

    Interesting times, according to what iv`e read John Bercow will play a major part in all of this and as we know he is a stickler on procedure and, more importantly in this scenario, tradition.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84769 Reply
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    Wigwam
    Participant

    I look forward to Bercow and Mogg sparring.  Could be fun to watch.

    #84770 Reply
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    Brydo
    Participant

    They are both brilliant to watch, both very intelligent and articulate.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

    #84784 Reply
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    fwipperie
    Participant

    Much more “jiggery pokery” awaits the general public. Twists and turns in abundance. Don’t go anywhere! Perhaps the coffee shop!

    #85135 Reply
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    fwipperie
    Participant

    It appears nothing can stop a “no deal” WTO Brexit if the government so desires it.

    #85137 Reply
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    Brydo
    Participant

    That’s that sorted then, maybe that explains why my shares a worth so much less.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

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