Article 50 UK Supreme Court case starts; Crown begins its submissions

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Photo source: Pixabay Alicia Nicholls One of the most consequential and politically-sensitive constitutional law cases in United Kingdom legal history commenced on Monday before the Kingdom’s highest court. A panel comprising all eleven Supreme Court justices heard opening submissions from Attorney-General, Jeremy Wright QC and veteran government lawyer, James Eadie QC, on behalf of the Crown. Reiterating the arguments the Crown had made during the High Court case,

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Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – November 20-December 3, 2016

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Photo source: Pixabay Caribbean Trade Law & Development is pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World for the weeks of November 20-December 3, 2016.  For past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please

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President-elect Trump’s trade team takes shape: What implications for the Caribbean?

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Photo source: Pixabay Alicia Nicholls US President-elect Donald Trump’s trade team is starting to take shape. A successful billionaire himself, Mr. Trump has so far stayed true to his promise of selecting business people as opposed to the traditional career politician for most of his Cabinet and administrative-level choices, with the selection of billionaire private equity investor, Wilbur Ross, as Commerce

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World Economic Forum Releases Global Enabling Trade Index 2016; Caribbean countries continue to lag

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Photo source: Pixabay Alicia Nicholls The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation released the 2016 edition of the Enabling Trade Report today November 30, 2016. Singapore topped the ranking for the 5th time in a row and was in the top 3 for 5 of the 7 pillars. For Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile

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Happy 50th Anniversary of Independence Barbados! Tribute to Barbados at 50

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Alicia Nicholls I would like to take this opportunity to extend a happy 50th Anniversary of Independence to all my fellow Barbadians both at home and in the diaspora. Our country Barbados, with an area of just 166 sq miles and a population of around 280,000, may be little more than a small dot on the geographical map but it is hard

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Dominica Ratifies WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

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Photo source: Pixabay Alicia Nicholls Dominica has become the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state to ratify the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement, according to a WTO press release. On November 28, 2016 Dominica, along with Mongolia, deposited its instrument of acceptance to the WTO. These two ratifications bring the number of WTO member states to have ratified the

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WTO Panel Rules US Tax Incentive to Boeing a Prohibited Subsidy

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Photo source: Pixabay Alicia Nicholls In the latest saga of the on-going battle between aircraft giants Airbus and Boeing, a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement body panel on November 28, 2016 has ruled that Washington State’s business and occupation (B&O) aerospace tax rate for the manufacturing or sale of commercial airplanes under Boeing’s 777X programme currently in development is a prohibited

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Fidel Castro: Friend to the Caribbean and Anti-Imperialist Hero

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(Photo source: Pixabay) Alicia Nicholls Former Cuban President and leader of the 1959  Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, took leave of this earthly realm on November 25, 2016 at the age of 90. Coincidentally, his passing took place on the anniversary of the Granma’s departure from Mexico in 1959 to liberate Cuba. Despite the prevailing Washington narrative of Comrade Castro as a “brutal despot

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TPP: Trump to Withdraw US from Agreement on day one

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Alicia Nicholls United States (US) President-elect Donald Trump has made clear his intention to honour one of his more popular campaign pledges; withdrawing his country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. He reiterated this promise in an online video aimed at updating the American people on the progress of his transition and policy plans for the first one hundred days of

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Trump Presidency: What priorities for US-Caribbean Economic Engagement?

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Alicia Nicholls The United States’ position as most Caribbean countries’ largest economic partner and an important foreign policy ally means that constructive engagement with the incoming Trump administration is not just a choice but an imperative. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and individual Caribbean governments have all expressed congratulatory messages, emphasizing their willingness to work with Mr. Trump and continuing the harmonious US-Caribbean relationship.

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Caribbean Reflections on Soft Power

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Jo-Ann Hamilton, Guest Writer What do China and the United States have in common? Global influence? Economic Hegemony? Let’s throw Qatar and Iceland into the mix. Any thoughts? The answer is soft power. China invests globally in infrastructure around the globe often in countries largely ignored by the international community. The Chinese government also gives away millions in scholarships to

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De-Risking remains “a key priority”, according to US Treasury

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Alicia Nicholls De-risking remains a “key priority” for the United States’ (US) Department of the Treasury. This is according to Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the US Department of the Treasury, Mr. Adam Szubin, in a key note address delivered at the American Bankers Association/American Bar Association’s annual Money Laundering Enforcement Conference held in Washington DC November 13-15, 2016.

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WTO: G20 Trade Restrictions remain high, despite slowdown in new measures

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Alicia Nicholls Despite a slowdown in new measures, existing trade restrictions among the G20 countries remain high. This is according to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) latest Report on G2o Trade Measures (mid-May 2016 to mid-October 2016) released November 10, 2016. Some of the key findings of the sixteenth edition of this Report are as follows: A total of 85 new

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Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – November 7-12, 2016

These are some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the world for the week of November 7-12, 2016.  For past issues, please visit here. Regional News All about trade flows between Haiti and the Dominican Republic HaitiLibre: An82-page report of the Center for Investment Facilitation (CFI), presented last September and released this week

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President-Elect Trump’s Trade Policy Proposals: A Quick Look

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Alicia Nicholls Few other aspects of President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed policy platform have attracted as much attention and scrutiny as have his trade policy proposals. In often colourful language, Mr. Trump has charged that current United States (US) trade policy is disadvantageous to American workers and interests and that other countries are taking advantage of the land of the free. In October

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What may a Trump presidency mean for future US-Caribbean relations?

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Alicia Nicholls In what for many pollsters and poll watchers was an astounding turn of events reminiscent of the June 23rd Brexit vote decision in the United Kingdom (UK), the American people have chosen the Republican presidential nominee, Mr. Donald J. Trump, to become their 45th president. Mr. Trump, a billionaire real estate developer who has never held elective office,

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Paris Climate Change Agreement Enters into Force: What next?

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Alicia Nicholls “Humanity will look back on November 4, 2016, as the day that countries of the world shut the door on inevitable climate disaster and set off with determination towards a sustainable future.” – Joint Statement by Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary and Salaheddine Mezouar, President of COP22 and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of

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Caribbean Trade and Development Digest: October 30-November 5, 2016

These are some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the world for the week of October 30-November 5, 2016.  For past issues, please visit here. REGIONAL Dominican Republic certified against freight risks, illegal trade  DominicanToday: The international certification issued by the Business Alliance for Secure Commerce (BASC) to the Dominican Republic establishes a

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Brexit requires Parliamentary Approval, UK Court rules

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Alicia Nicholls In its judgement rendered this morning, the UK High Court has held that Parliament must vote before the UK can begin the process of leaving the European Union by giving notice pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. In summary, the court did not accept the argument by the Government that its prerogative powers included the ability to make

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Caribbean Trade and Development Digest – October 23-29, 2016

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Alicia Nicholls These are some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the world for the week of October 23-29, 2016.  For past issues, please visit here. CARIBBEAN NEWS Dominican Republic and Cuba negotiate trade agreement Prensa Latina: Cuba”s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Carlos de la Nuez, reported today that the two countries

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Caribbean Response to the Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking

Alicia Nicholls IMF Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Tao Zhang, gave an interesting and comprehensive speech summarising the “Caribbean response to the Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking” at the Conference on the Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking in Antigua & Barbuda on October 28, 2016. The following realities stood out to me from Mr. Zhang’s speech: Almost 60% of the Caribbean Association of

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CETA Trade Deal Deadlock Broken

Alicia Nicholls UPDATE: Text of the Addendum (in French) is available here. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada has finally won the backing of Belgium’s hold-out Walloon region. This is according to reporting by BBC News which broke the news earlier this evening. According to the BBC, Belgium’s Prime Minister, Charles Michel, 

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Citizenship by Investment receipts help power economic recovery in Eastern Caribbean Countries

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Alicia Nicholls Receipts from citizenship by investment programmes (CIPs) continue to be a major contributor to economic recovery in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). This is according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest Staff Report on the ECCU released this month (October 2016). CIPs have been an important development tool in Eastern Caribbean countries. In January 2016 St. Lucia became

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Jamaica is Commonwealth Caribbean’s Easiest Place to do Business, World Bank Doing Business Report 2017

Alicia Nicholls Jamaica has once again topped the Commonwealth Caribbean as the easiest place in which to do business, according to the recently released World Bank Doing Business Report 2017. This flagship annual index  measures and benchmarks countries around the world on the ease in which a hypothetical local entrepreneur can open and run a small to medium-size business when complying

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EU-Canada CETA trade deal hangs in the balance

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Alicia Nicholls The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiated between the European Union (EU) and Canada appears to be in limbo as Belgium’s French-speaking Walloon region has said a strident non (no in French) to the deal. According to media reporting, two key issues appear to be sticking points for the Walloon government. Firstly, there are concerns about potential increased pork and

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Caribbean Trade and Development Digest – October 16-23, 2016

These are some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the world for the week of September 25-October 1, 2016.  For past issues, please visit here. Regional CARICOM Urged to Expand US-Caribbean Trade  SFCN: Member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) need to collectively engage the United States in discussions designed to expand the

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FATF releases Guidance on Correspondent Banking Services

Alicia Nicholls The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has released its long-awaited guidance on the application of FATF standards in the context of correspondent banking services following its plenary session held October 19-21st, 2016. The purpose of the guidance is to address de-risking and has been prepared in collaboration with the Financial Stability Board (FSB). The target audience for

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FATF congratulates Guyana on AML/CFT Improvements

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Alicia Nicholls At its recently held plenary session on October 19-21, 2016, the Paris-based Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) congratulated Guyana on the “significant progress” the country has made in addressing the deficiencies in its framework for anti-money laundering/combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). Background Since its establishment in 1989, FATF has sought to protect the integrity of the global financial system from

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US eases some restrictions on Cuban imports for personal use

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Alicia Nicholls On October 14, 2016 the United States Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced further amendments to the Cuba Sanctions Regulations. These changes became effective today (October 17, 2016) and include not just an ease on restrictions of Cuban imports, including alcohol and cigars,

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BRICS Summit 2016: Five Key Trade Takeaways

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Alicia Nicholls The BRICS grouping, comprising of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, held its 8th Summit in Goa, India under the theme “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions” October, 15-16, 2016. India currently holds the chairmanship of the five-nation grouping. Here are the main trade takeaways from the Summit: Support for the WTO-based Multilateral

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Caribbean Trade and Development Weekly Digest – October 2-8, 2016

These are some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the world for the week of October 2-8, 2016.  For past issues, please visit here. Regional China tariffs and NTBS inhibit Caribbean and Latin America imports Stabroek: Prohibitive tariff and non-tariff barriers for trade between China and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

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Evaluating Barbados’ WEF GCI Competitiveness Scorecard: Is Top of the Regional Class Good Enough?

Alicia Nicholls Barbados made its grand reappearance on the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2016-2017 after data shortages precluded its 2014-2015 inclusion. According to the WEF’s scorecard, the region’s star pupil topped its Latin American and Caribbean peers in the following subjects: infrastructure, labour market efficiency and technological readiness. Barbados is a 166 sq  miles (431 sq

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Pound Sterling slips to 3 year low: What implications for Caribbean Countries?

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Alicia Nicholls Two main statements enunciated by UK policy makers in the past few days have sent Sterling plunging to a three-year low. The first was Prime Minister Theresa May’s revelation after weeks of speculation that Brexit negotiations will begin in early March 2017. The second is statements by UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox which many have interpreted to show a preference

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Ranking Caribbean Countries’ Competitiveness: WEF Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017

Alicia Nicholls A few days ago, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released its Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017. Two things immediately struck me as I perused the list of 138 economies which made the GCI 2016. The first was that because of data shortages only 4 Caribbean countries (Barbados, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago in order of rank) were

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Caribbean Weekly Trade & Development Digest – September 25-October 1, 2016

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These are some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the world for the week of September 25-October 1, 2016.  For past issues, please visit here. Regional Dominican officials meeting heralds stronger trade ties  Dominican Today: The foreign ministers of the Dominican Republic, Miguel Vargas and of Haiti, Pierrot Delienne, on Thursday announced a

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WTO Public Forum 2016 focuses on “Inclusive Trade”

Alicia Nicholls How can we make trade and trade rules more inclusive for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and women in business? This was the central theme with which government representatives, NGOs, civil society organizations, business leaders, academics, students and ordinary citizens from around the world grappled at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Public Forum held September 27-29, 2016.

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Is the UN ‘essential’ for Small States? Singapore Minister makes the case

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Alicia Nicholls “In an uncertain world, small states have to work much harder just to stay afloat. Small boats on a rough sea will be tossed and turned much more than a tanker with heavy ballast. For our survival and prosperity, small states have to stay open and connected to the world. But our very openness makes us vulnerable to

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Caribbean States raise de-risking concerns at the 71st United Nations General Assembly

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Alicia Nicholls De-risking was one of the myriad of developmental issues raised by small states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the 71st Regular General Assembly of the United Nations in New York over the past few days. The theme of the general debate of the 71st session was “The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world.” De-risking

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OECD describes global trade growth as “exceptionally weak”

Alicia Nicholls In its Interim Economic Outlook released yesterday September 21, 2016, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has again expressed concern about the slowdown in global trade growth, echoing similar sentiments made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Describing global trade growth as “exceptionally weak”, the report notes that the volume of

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Belize accepts TRIPS Amendment

Alicia Nicholls Belize has become the latest member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to accept the amendment to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which seeks to improve poorer members’ access to affordable medicines. This  amendment to the TRIPS Agreement formalises and makes permanent the waiver provided by paragraph 6 of the

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G20 Leaders’ Hangzhou Summit: Trade and Investment Takeaways

“Our growth, to be strong, must be reinforced by inclusive, robust and sustainable trade and investment growth.”  –G20 Leaders’ Communiqué 2016 Alicia Nicholls Against the backdrop of an uneven global economic recovery, subpar global trade and investment growth, trade disputes and the recently held Brexit referendum vote in the UK, trade and investment were top of mind for world leaders

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Climate Change, the US Elections and Small Island Developing States’ Survival

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Alicia Nicholls “We are the first generation to be able to end poverty, and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail to uphold our moral and historical responsibilities.” – Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations. In a step that was both

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Can Sports help Caribbean Countries’ Export Diversification Efforts?

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Alicia Nicholls The Brazil-hosted XXXI Summer Olympiad has come to an end with all of the panache one would expect from “a cidade maravilhosa” (the marvelous city) of Rio de Janeiro. I would be the first to admit that unlike most persons, I was not glued to the Games. However, seeing the success of Caribbean athletes, particularly the Jamaican team

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Antigua, Are you ready to Gamble?

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Javier Spencer, Guest Contributor  –Did you know that in 2000, the Antigua and Barbuda’s Online Gaming Industry accounted for 61% of the Global Online Industry?(Global Betting and Gambling Consultants, 2007) This figure declined in 2001 onwards as the United States introduced statutes that limited Antigua’s supply of online gambling services in the US. The clock has been ticking and the

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Anti-trade Populism and its Implications for Developing Countries

Alicia Nicholls Trade, it seems, is a dirty word these days. It does not take much more than a cursory scan of newspaper headlines to observe the growing prevalence of anti-trade, anti-immigration, anti-globalisation rhetoric which has infused the US Presidential Campaign and which was one of the factors which led 52% of Britons to vote for the UK to withdraw

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