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The United Kingdom - A Federalist Proposal by HouseOfHesse The United Kingdom - A Federalist Proposal by HouseOfHesse
Brief departure from my current series on European Federalism to bring you some British Federalism instead!
In the wake of the Scottish independence referendum, which I believe will fail (albeit narrowly), it is clear that the current political structure of the UK is no longer sufficient. With support for an independence referendum on the increase in Wales, and calls for devolved Cornish and English assemblies, I believe the answer to the devolution crisis in the UK lies in a federal system. I propose (initially) dividing the UK into 6 states, with powers similar to those of Scotland's 'devo-max' proposal, whilst retaining the national parliament in Westminster and the monarchy. 4 of the 6 proposed states already have a great deal of regional autonomy (if one includes the London assembly), making such a reform relatively easy to implicate. Introducing a federal system to the UK would resolve a great deal of issues, not just the calls for independence from Wales and Scotland, but the West Lothian question (whether British citizens outside of England should get to vote on issues affecting only England), and the growing economic distance between London and the rest of the UK. Similarly, a federal system would also open the doors to the admission of new states outside of the UK, such as the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, and Gibraltar, as their relationship with the UK and EU are increasingly questioned. A federal system would also provide for an easy transfer of Northern Ireland, as giving the region greater powers would allow for it to form agreements with the Irish Republic at its own pace, rather than having to rely on Westminster to act on its behalf. Furthermore, such a system also holds the potential to see Ireland admitted as a state, should it be desired, providing an alternative solution to the Northern Ireland issue (albeit, not one that I'd advocate). As England would be by far the most populous state, I have included a proposal to further divide England into 7 states to provide better representation of regional issues, which would potentially bring the total number of states to 12. I chose Birmingham as the seat for the English parliament, owing to it frequently being called England's 'second city', though I realise Manchester and other historic capitals, such as Winchester, are equally valid proposals.
Whilst I am not a patriot by any stretch of the imagination, I believe a federal system the best way to preserve the integrity of the union, which is incredibly important for historical and cultural regions, whilst addressing the many shortcomings of the current method of devolution.
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:iconuk-unionist:
uk-unionist Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014
maybe the faroe islands should join the uk too as many people there are scottish
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:iconuk-unionist:
uk-unionist Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014
furthermore, in addition to the 10 states I originally proposed, I think that other nations should emerge but remain in the uk, I believe that the Hebrides should become a nation, and Northumberland, and Yorkshire, and mercia, and Wessex, and the isle of wight, and I also belive that britany in france should join the uk, clue is in the name, but not just that, Britain at one point ruled britany. and britany is the only region in the world outside the british isles that is celtic, so in  summery, I believe in a federalist kingdom of the British isles consisting of

1.England
2.Wales
3.Scotland
4.Ireland
5.Northern Ireland
6.Cornwall
7.London
8.Isle of man
9.Channel islands
10.Oarkney islands
11.Shetland islands
12.the Hebrides
13.the isle of Wight
14.Northumberland
15.Yorkshire
16.Mercia
17.Wessex
18.Britany
19.Scilly
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:iconmaine86:
Maine86 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015  New member
Brittany should join the UK? Are you serious? I'm mostly Breton and Brittany is definitly the most anti-British region in France. England has always been Brittany's ennemy and anti-english sentiments are still very high. We love Scotland and Ireland, but not England.
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:iconuk-unionist:
uk-unionist Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014
Ireland, isle of man, and channel islands should join the uk, because at the end  of the day, we are are geographically in the british isles, and we have more cultural similarities than differences
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:iconmaine86:
Maine86 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015  New member
The Channel Islands should join the future Duchy of Normandy.
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:iconaleksx000:
Aleksx000 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014
Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are ruled by the London government, so what difference it would make?
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:iconuk-unionist:
uk-unionist Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014
I strongly believe that Ireland should join the uk, as a federalist british isles, along with the isle of man the the channel islands, also, Orkney and Shetland should become a nation but remain in the uk, so in summary, I believe in a federalist united kingdom that consists of

1.England
2.Wales
3.Scotland
4.Ireland
5.Northern Ireland
6.Cornwall
7.London
8.Isle of man
9.Channel islands
10.Oarkney and Shetland islands
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:iconqtxadsy:
qtxadsy Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice! As a Scot, I'm only too glad that it was a no vote that was the final outcome (Proud joint Scottish/British Identity!). This idea of the future UK is damn good, so much so that I could honestly really seeing this happening. Though I must point out that I would've added Shetland and Orkney to have their own assemblies as they have more of a Scandinavian identity rather than a Scottish one and could have a status like that of crown dependancies. In fact, it was said that if Scotland were to become independent, the Northern Isles would want a referendum to either stay with the UK, become independent or even go back to Norway. 

This might say a little bit more history about them --> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern…

That said, it's kinda like the Scottish version of the Cornwall question, though I'm not quite sure how great. Other than that, really love this map :)
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A lot of the discourse following the no vote did mention federalism, which makes me really happy because it just seems like a sensible idea! I really hope the government does follow through with their promises to Scotland, and mirrors them in the rest of the country. It's high time change was made to the way this country is run, and now is the perfect opportunity!
As for Orkney and Shetland, that would totally make sense, and if I could be bothered to do this map again I'd definitely add them as a separate state. I read they were considering separating from Scotland and becoming crown dependencies in the event of a yes vote which speaks volumes for the lack of Scottish identity there: being stuck in the international limbo of a crown dependency really isn't something to aspire to except in pretty desperate circumstances.
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:iconheliosmegistos:
HeliosMegistos Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014
This I support since it would keep the UK together and stop all the "imop" silly independence nonsense and solve the autonomy issues I've been hearing about. Abmitedly I don't understand a whole lot of it politically as it's not my strong point but still it would give England it's own devolution like Scotland and such have "still don't quite understand what all that's about".
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:iconwhippetwild:
WhippetWild Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yep I see another appearance of Super Cornwall
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:iconduke-nidhoggr:
Duke-Nidhoggr Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why is Devon part of Cornwall?
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:iconwhippetwild:
WhippetWild Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think it is called "Super Cornwall"
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:iconkraut007:
Kraut007 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014
Interesting thoughts.
So as I understand, the English regions have very few authority, unlike the Scotish council areas?
Sounds different from my German homeland, which has a federal system, based on the late unification in 1871. 
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States_o…
Dunno if that kind of system or something similar would work for the UK. 
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thankyou!
That is indeed true, Scottish councils have slightly more autonomy than English (and Welsh) counties, but it still doesn't amount to a great deal.
A federal system as seen in Germany is exactly the type of system I'd advocate, you're quite right! It would have been foolish for Germany to try to have included both Lower Saxony and Bavaria in a unitary state as the cultures are so profoundly different, and this is true of the UK also. The current system of devolution fails to adequately address the needs of the different regions of the UK, and the success of the German example of federalism is a perfect example of how to address this issue. 
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:iconkraut007:
Kraut007 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014
Our system has it´s merits and flaws.
For example, each German state has it´s own educational policy, which makes it really messy when you have to move between states and change schools.
On the other hand, the state governments acted pretty fast and efficient during several flood disasters, because they didn´t had to ask the federal government for everything. Or how theatres, museums, universities and tourist attractions are owned by their respective states. 
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:iconlonn7:
lonn7 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
That's the flag of the City of London only, not Greater London.

This is the flag of Greater London: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia…
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had a little bit of an internal debate about which flag to use because while the Greater London flag is a better representation of the London area, I preferred the City of London flag a) for the historical connotations associated with it, and b) because it makes it seem more like a city-state type thing, if you get what I mean? I just felt it better represented what I wanted the city's role in the federation to be - that is a city, not a 'region' per se. That was badly explained, but I hope you get my drift!
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:iconmenapia:
menapia Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
Great map, what about using the old regional English names? Wessex, Northumbria the names of the old heptarchy might make it all sound more organic
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a really good idea! I'd definitely be happy if that happened!
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:iconmenapia:
menapia Featured By Owner May 13, 2014
The British federation idea isn't all that new, back in the 19thC there was an Irish MP called Issac Butt who was founder of the Home Rule League.  The Irish at the time were unhappy with the union with Britain and wanted a govt. to deal with their own concerns. 

Butt proposed what he called Home Rule all around - Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England would have their own national parliaments/assemblies with a federal/imperial council over it all to deal with foreign affairs and common defence a bit like the Swiss system. It didn't get anywhere but we ended up with an official Irish Parliamentary Party led by Charles Stewart Parnell who tried to get autonomy for Ireland by constitutional means - great map man
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know, I had no idea federalism had such a well established history in the UK! A Swiss style system would be the ideal end-game I think, a federal/confederal government just seems to make so much sense for the UK, I really don't understand how it hasn't garnered more backing by now.
Thankyou, I'm glad it seems to have been well received!
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:iconcheeseburgertom:
CheeseburgerTom Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
This would also open the way to bringing Sealand back into the fold.
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:iconcheeseburgertom:
CheeseburgerTom Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
Something that should have been done with the UK proper and the more developed colonies hundreds of years ago to be sure.

Personally rooting for independence though as it will shift the UK government as a whole to the right.
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:iconscottyb16:
scottyb16 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What an interesting proposal. But You say that independence will fail, may I say that the fight is not over yet and the most recent polls suggest a 5% gap between No and yes and with a 3% swing, Yes could easily be in the lead. But polls are polls and the only one that will really matter is on the 18th so don't go denying yet, the race is on.
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think you're a little bit off there: of the 51 opinion polls conducted since 2012, only 11 have a gap of less than 10%, and only 1 has a majority for 'yes' (which, it is worth noting, was conducted by the SNP and even that only had a margin of 1%). In fact, almost half of them have gaps of 20% or more.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish…
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:iconscottyb16:
scottyb16 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well the most recent polls are the ones which truly mater as they are most current showing the current opinion. No only has a lead of 5%-7% from the most recent I have seen, a small swing is all we need to gain a lead. 

The other problem with opinion polls is that they are only done with a small amount of people which can sometimes be from an exact region, age group or political view. They are the most accurate way of predicting but are not 100% accurate, the only one that will be is on the 18th September, the vote itself. Its all to play for!!!
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd question your cynicism of opinion polls, they are incredibly accurate tools (one only has to look at opinion polling for previous general elections, for example, to see that) so I wouldn't disregard their results because of the small sample sizes. The fact that multiple polls taking place in different parts of Scotland are showing almost exactly the same results must surely have some resonance?
I admire your enthusiasm for the cause, but it seems the polls and the majority of analysts are in accordance that the no vote is clearly the winner.
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:iconscottyb16:
scottyb16 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Understandable, I would say it is the most accurate even though it can cover a small populous. I think the most accurate would be time travel but its not been invented yet XD
Now thats not entirely true, I do canvasing and each area I do always has a strong support for one side or the other. Currently, I'v seen the most support for you. I would also argue that different areas are going to have different support. Dundee has got a majority Yes Support but down where I live, which I won't say to protect myself, there a lot of no support. I don't know where this identical is coming from but there a lot of areas where the undecideds will decide where support lies in these areas.

Thank you but I must say that the polls are getting tighter. I admit where still losing but we have the chance, we just need to fight for it. Its a hard fight, we have the biggest parties and the  lot of the mass media against us but we're getting there, point at a time. But some analysts might be opposed to Independence but some are for it. Just like many economists, academics, artists and business people are for Independence.
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:iconduke-of-nonsuch:
Duke-of-Nonsuch Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
As for someone in London, it is well overdue that the city receives more powers. In respect of England, it most definitely needs a parliament along Scottish lines, but to be located in Manchester, not Birmingham.
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:iconnocturnaldarkness:
NocturnalDarkness Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
A most excellent plan. That said, I'd prefer the paraliament to sit in Nottingham for cultural/historical/social/economic reasons. I also wonder why Cornwall has annexed Devon. :p
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nottingham is an interesting choice! May I ask you what cultural/historical/social/economic reasons you have in mind?
They're pretty close culturally (aka, the Conservative proposal of 'Devonwall') so I see no reason why they wouldn't be included in one state!
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:iconnocturnaldarkness:
NocturnalDarkness Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
I read an interesting blog entry a while back advocating it as a hypothetical: britologywatch.wordpress.com/2…. Can't vouch for the rest of the site content-wise, but it's worth a look. That, and it's ideal geographically to go some way into mending the gaping, festering socio-economic wound Mrs. T left behind.

Ugh. Tories. >_< We might as well politely ask France for Brittany whilst we're at it.
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:iconfederalrepublic:
FederalRepublic Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
Considering how the City of London works, this is a bit weird. I mean you've included all of English London (formerly Westminster) together with the TINY City of London, which is somewhere between Wales and the Isle of Man when it comes to being part of the UK... Speaking of the Isle of Man: What exactly did happen to the Crown Dependencies and the many British Overseas Territories? Most of the latter are very comfy with their current status and wouldn't like independence (due to their inability to sustain themselves alone) or transfer (except maybe the Turks and Caicos Islands to Canada).
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Little bit confused as to what you mean as to the city of London being 'between Wales and the Isle of Man when it comes to being part of the UK'? Pretty sure it's 100% UK territory, and as far as I know the London assembly is for the Greater London Area which includes Westminster anyway (as it does on this map)?
As for the crown dependencies, this map shows them as their current status: that is, not part of the UK. However, I propose in the description that they could, if desired, be admitted to the federation as states.
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:iconfederalrepublic:
FederalRepublic Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
There's a major difference between the City of London and the city London, which used to be called Westminster officially (but informally it has been called London even before the name change). The City of London isn't part of England, however London is. Furthermore the City of London has a very weird autonomy, which is more autonomous than the constituent kingdoms of the UK but not seperate like the Crown Dependencies. These two videos explain it better than me, so I'd recommend watching them.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrObZ_…
www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1ROpI…

But your description is a bit weird, too. Gibraltar is an overseas territory, which are notably different from the Crown Dependencies, because they are basically colonies (mostly) with responsible government. Sure, they also have stuff like UEFA and IOC membership but that doesn't qualify them as states, even less than the already debatle Crown Dependencies.
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I actually did know that about the City of London, which is why I said it is part of the UK (rather than England). Regardless of this, it does form part of Greater London, which is the area I propose to be a separate state of the federation, so I'm still not really sure I see your point?
As for the terminology surrounding the Crown Dependencies and the Overseas Territories, I think you're confusing the idea of sovereign states (what most people call countries) with federal states. In the case of Gibraltar, I proposed that it could be admitted to the federation as a state of the federation, not that it was a sovereign state. Neither the Crown Dependencies nor the Overseas Territories are sovereign states, and neither are they part of the UK.
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:iconspacesheepie:
SpaceSheepie Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
As someone from Cornwall, I'd like to thank you for recognizing Cornwall :P
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't know why it's taking you guys so long to get a devolved parliament, there's clearly a need for one! My boyfriend is from Cornwall so he'd probably be quite cross if I didn't recognise you guys haha!
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:iconspacesheepie:
SpaceSheepie Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
Because of history, the Conservatives being in at the moment (we'd have way more chance under Labour) and general lack of recognisation of Cornwall from the rest of the country. I've been told by a Scot no less that Cornwall shouldn't be its own country because its 'too small' -rolls eyes- It really, really, does need one, Westminster is so far removed from the needs of Cornwall, they don't GET it, at all. At this rate we have a better chance of sawing ourselves off from Devon and floating the land up between Wales and Scotland and getting in with one of them :P
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I do love how they've tried to placate this by making Cornwall a unitary authority, but that just isn't the same thing. At all. Cornwall needs far greater autonomy to deal with very specific issues which as you rightly say, Westminster is hopelessly out of touch with (which as a Northerner, I feel your pain).
I would strongly advise against floating north, you'd lose all that lovely weather! :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconspacesheepie:
SpaceSheepie Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
It rains all the time in Cornwall, what-you-talkin' 'bout? :P We're surrounded by sea on 3 sides! :P If you look into the history of Cornwall/England relations there are some weird goings on, with the various invaders not necessarily making it down to Cornwall, and then England sorta just assuming Cornwall was part of it after a certain time, but lots of legislature names Cornwall separately... so... yeah! :O I know there was an opinion poll or referendum (can't remember which) given to some place in the North for a separate assembly there, but it didn't receive much of a 'yes' vote, they should have tried it in Cornwall, I don't think it'd have gotten a lot of 'no's :P I did politics as a degree, so, yeah, I could waffle on about this rubbish for a while.
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh man, literally every time I've been it's been gloriously warm! Best place in the UK!
Indeed, the Danelaw never reached Cornwall, and it was just sort of assumed that the Duchy would be British, which is questionable at best.
As far as I know, I don't think there's ever really been an official poll in Cornwall has there? Seems to me like Westminster pretending there's no issue there...
Haha, well it's all constructive waffling!Clap 
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:iconspacesheepie:
SpaceSheepie Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
No there hasn't... so yes, its all just burying their head in the sand and ignoring the issue while the place declines in wealth (hosts one of the poorest towns in country), as much of it is owned by people who live in London, and don't spend much of their time down there, which just pulls money out of the place, along with them buying up huge amounts of second homes, sending house prices rocketing. Ugh! -shakes fist-
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Exactly! Prime example of a Cornish only issue which Westminster either refuses to acknowledge, or is completely unaware of.
*waves Cornish flag aggressively*
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