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The future of Government (if any)

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3221 Postby Alan H » May 31st, 2018, 6:46 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Government U-turn over anti-terror law used to deport migrants
Section of Immigration Act to be reviewed after misuse of clause saw highly skilled migrants forced from UK

Use of the section 322(5) clause by the Home Office has been condemned as ‘truly wicked’ and ‘an abuse of power’. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
The government has agreed to stop deporting people under an immigration rule designed to tackle terrorism and those judged to be a threat to national security pending a review, after the Guardian highlighted numerous cases in which the power was being misused.

The news came as the home secretary, Sajid Javid, admitted on Tuesday that at least 19 highly skilled migrants had been forced to leave the country under the rule.

A review of the controversial section 322(5) of the Immigration Act was announced in a letter to the home affairs select committee.

Javid said one person had been issued with a visa to return to the UK as a result of ongoing inquiries. He also said that all applications for leave to remain that could potentially be refused under the section have been put on hold pending the findings of the review, which is due to be completed by the end the month.

Javid’s letter to the home affairs select committee also admitted that the Home Office’s use of the clause – condemned as “truly wicked” and “an abuse of power” by MPs and experts – could have spread to other applications, including that of any migrant applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) who might have been asked to submit evidence of earnings.

At least 1,000 highly skilled migrants seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK are facing deportation under the section of the act.

The high-tax paying applicants – including teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers and IT professionals – have been refused ILR after being accused of lying in their applications for making minor and legal amendments to their tax records.

The controversial paragraph comes with devastating conditions. Migrants, some who have lived here for a decade or more and have British-born children, immediately become ineligible for any other UK visa. Many are given just 14 days to leave the UK while others are allowed to stay and fight their cases but not to work.

In addition, those deported under the terrorism-associated paragraph will have that permanently marked on their passports, making it highly unlikely they will ever get a visa to visit or work anywhere else in the world.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3222 Postby Alan H » June 6th, 2018, 11:45 am

UK's voter ID trial in local elections could be illegal – barristers
A controversial trial of forcing voters to show ID could have been illegal because it was incorrectly imposed by ministerial diktat rather than through parliament, senior barristers have said.

The legal opinion by two barristers from Blackstone, a leading chambers in London, concluded that ministers acted beyond the scope of the law in ordering the trial of compulsory voter ID in five boroughs in England at last month’s local elections.

If upheld by a formal court challenge, the view could prevent any further trials or a national rollout of voter ID taking place without the formal consent of parliament, which could prove difficult given objections to the idea.

The scheme, in which people in Bromley, Woking, Gosport, Watford and Swindon were forced to show varying types of ID before being allowed to vote, prompted concern from charities, who warned it might put off more vulnerable groups such as elderly people and the homeless.

It was also criticised as a solution in search of a problem after it emerged that none of the trial boroughs had reported any cases of voter impersonation in recent years.

The opinion by Antony Peto QC, joint head of Blackstone, and fellow barrister Natasha Simonsen said it appeared the Cabinet Office had been wrong to order the trial through secondary legislation, sometimes known as Henry VIII powers, whereby laws can be amended by directive without a vote in parliament.
Of course we can trust the Tories to use their Henry VIII Brexit powers wisely...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3223 Postby Alan H » June 11th, 2018, 11:38 pm

‘I could have ended up dead’: why women’s refuges face a fatal new threat
A proposed change to funding means vulnerable women would not be able to pay for refuge placements with their housing benefit. It is the single biggest threat these shelters have ever faced
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3224 Postby Alan H » June 16th, 2018, 12:30 am

The Shocking, Heartbreaking Reality Of Being On Universal Credit
This caller told the shocking reality of what it's like to have to prove you're not fit to work under the government's Universal Credit scheme.

Dean in Sheffield revealed he is unfit to work due to suffering from depression and gets regular notes from his doctor to give to his Job Centre.

But he then has to prove to the work advisor that he's unfit to work and he says he gets blamed for being ill.

"When you go in to see the advisor, you're intimidated. You get threatened with sanctions, you get blamed for being ill.

"You get blamed for your depression, they say 'Don't you want to get better?'"

Asked if these advisors have any medical qualification, he said: "No."

He added: "You've got a security guard stood behind your chair. A security guard at the side of your chair and you're getting threatened with sanctions left, right and centre.

"It makes your depression worse. I have anxiety attacks just at the thought of going in there.

"Every month I've been sanctioned for my depression, because I'm not well enough to go in there."

James was shocked by what he heard: "So the letter from the doctor gets sent it, but you still have to go in to prove you're ill? This is Kafka.

"If you don't go in because of your illness, they take money off you."
We're all in it together, aren't we?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3225 Postby Alan H » June 16th, 2018, 12:51 am

Incompetence or deliberate? Government attacked over catalogue of errors in universal credit rollout as report shows it fails to deliver savings
Ministers have been accused of presiding over a catalogue of errors in universal credit as a major report finds the new benefit is failing to deliver value for money and is pushing claimants into further financial struggle.

The damning assessment of the welfare payment reveals its introduction has taken significantly longer than intended, while authorities have failed to monitor and manage the hardship suffered by the vulnerable as a result of long delays.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report today found universal credit may cost more than the social security system it replaces – and warned there was no way of measuring whether it will meet its economic aim of getting 200,000 more people into work.
But the NAO concluded that the benefit had not delivered value for money and it was uncertain that it ever would, with costs running to £699 per claim, against an ambition of £173 by 2024-25.

Its introduction was to be completed by last October, but after a number of problems only about 10 per cent of the expected caseload are currently claiming universal credit, said the report.

Last year around one in four new claims – 113,000 people – were not paid in full on time, with late payments delayed on average by four weeks. From January to October 2017, 40 per cent of those affected by late payments waited in total around 11 weeks or more, and 20 per cent waited almost five months.

Despite improvements, in March 21 per cent of new claimants still did not receive their full entitlement on time, with 13 per cent receiving no payment on time.

The NAO also accuses the government of not showing sufficient sensitivity towards some claimants and failing to monitor how many claimants are having problems with the programme, or have suffered hardship.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3226 Postby Alan H » July 3rd, 2018, 11:16 pm

Home Office admits forcing immigrants to take DNA tests
The Home Office has admitted that it forced some applicants seeking to prove they can legally stay in the UK to take DNA tests, contrary to its own policy.

The DNA demands, contained in letters to immigration candidates seen by the Financial Times, were made in cases where foreign parents of British children were seeking to stay in the country. The demands were often made despite there being alternative proof of paternity that had already been accepted by other government departments.

Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister, last month said in answer to a parliamentary question that there was “no specific requirement” for DNA evidence to be provided in immigration cases and that any DNA was submitted on an “entirely voluntary basis”.

After the FT informed the Home Office of the letters seeking DNA tests, Ms Nokes on Tuesday ordered an urgent review of her department’s handling of the cases. In a statement, the department said that while DNA tests could be requested in some cases, it was not a mandatory requirement for immigration applicants.

“We are aware of a number of letters which were issued requesting DNA tests where this was not made clear; we are reviewing the wording and have stopped any further letters being issued,” the Home Office said. “The minister for immigration has commissioned an urgent review into this.”

In a June 25 letter to a solicitor working for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), an independent charity that works on behalf of migrants, the Home Office said it was “imperative” her client send DNA evidence to confirm the paternity of her child. 

In another example, the Phams, a family of Vietnamese origin living in Dover, said the Home Office last year demanded their children undergo a DNA test, even though the UK consulate in Hanoi accepted that their father was Ngoc Khanh Pham, a UK citizen, when he registered their births in 2004. 

We will be asking the Home Office …why once again inaccurate information has been given to parliament

Monica Mac, the Phams’ solicitor, said the Home Office made it clear that if the DNA test was not submitted, the application by Mr Pham’s Vietnamese wife to remain in the UK would be refused. Ms Mac said she had received many demands for DNA evidence but agreed the request to the Phams was the most unjustified. 

In both the JCWI case and the Phams’ case, the Home Office refused to accept evidence about children’s paternity that they or other government departments had already accepted. The child in the JCWI case had received a UK passport on the basis of his father’s nationality. All three Pham children have been issued UK passports.

Yvette Cooper, chair of the Commons home affairs select committee, said parliament was “too often” being given inaccurate information by the Home Office.

“It is a serious concern if the government has not been following its own family visa and asylum policy guidance,” Ms Cooper said. “We will be asking the Home Office for the details of the review commissioned by the immigration minister, and an explanation as to why once again inaccurate information has been given to parliament.”

The Home Office said it would be writing to Afzal Khan, the shadow immigration minister who asked Ms Nokes the parliamentary question, to provide “further clarity” on her answer. 

The episode comes less than two weeks after Alison Thewliss, the Scottish National party MP, told parliament Ms Nokes had misled the Commons about the department’s record in court cases over its controversial tactic of harassing immigration applicants over minor discrepancies in their tax histories. 

Chai Patel, the JCWI’s director of legal services, said it was “disappointing” to see those in charge of the Home Office were still showing limited understanding of how the department worked.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3227 Postby Alan H » July 4th, 2018, 2:02 am

I Gave A TEDx Talk About Taxation And Everyone Stayed Awake
Explaining the contortions that multinational corporations put themselves through to avoid taxes is a journalistic challenge.

For many years, economists have thrown around big numbers, indicating the scale of the problem. Experts estimate the tax avoidance tactics of multinationals have cost governments around the world $100 billion to $240 billion a year — equivalent to 4 to 10 percent of global corporate income tax revenues.

And behind these big numbers are big stories, involving the largest corporations in the world, including Nike and Apple. Telling them, however, is not easy.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3228 Postby Alan H » July 23rd, 2018, 7:00 pm

Looks like the Tories don't object to the death penalty any longer... Is the UK government's stance on the death penalty shifting?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3229 Postby Alan H » August 1st, 2018, 12:19 am

Who'd have guessed? Firm condemned over NHS outsourcing 'shambles' given lucrative contract to arrest people dodging court fines
A major firm condemned by MPs over a recent NHS outsourcing “shambles” has been given a lucrative contract allowing private companies to arrest people for dodging court fines.

Ministers have been criticised over the decision to hand over the collection of court fines to four private companies, including Capita, a major outsourcing firm accused of putting patients at risk by delaying transfers of medical records.

The results of the tender process were quietly published in the rush before the MPs’ summer break, finalising plans to transfer services done by civilian enforcement officers, currently employed by HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS), to the private sector.

It comes as a damning report by the Public Accounts Committee said 1,000 GPs, dentists and opticians were delayed from working with patients for up to six months and nearly 90 women were dropped from cervical screening programmes due to Capita’s botched delivery of backroom services for NHS England.

Capita has apologised for “unacceptable failings in relation to the initial delivery” of the contract.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has faced criticism in the past over the outsourcing of contracts to private security firms such as Serco and G4S, the latter of which won a multimillion contract for electronic tagging of offenders despite being investigated for overcharging the government for similar services.

And last week, it was revealed that private probation companies were being bailed out for the second time as ministers were forced to ditch “catastrophic” contracts two years early.

The outsourcing sector has also been under scrutiny since the collapse of construction giant Carillion in January.

Labour warned more people could be at risk of harm from “rogue private bailiffs” and accused the government of putting “private profits before the public interest”.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3230 Postby Alan H » September 5th, 2018, 10:46 am

British boy who has lived in country since birth refused entry to UK on return from holiday
A six-year-old boy who has lived in the UK all of his life has been prevented from returning home to his mother following a holiday after the Home Office revoked his passport.

Mohamed Barrak Diallo Bangoura, who was born in Leeds in 2012, had been staying in Belgium with family friends for six weeks during the school holidays.

He was due to board a flight home to his mother on Sunday, but officials at Zaventem airport in Brussels said the Home Office had instructed them he could not travel to the UK.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott described the case as “truly shocking” and said the act of blocking a UK-born child from returning home was “exactly one of the effects” of the government’s hostile environment.

The Home Office said they issued a letter to Hawa Keita, the boy’s mother, who is of Guinean origin and lives in Sheffield, in March informing her that her son’s passport had been issued in error and had been “revoked” due to questions surrounding his British citizenship.

But Ms Keita told The Independent she had not received this letter until it was sent to her via email when she contacted the Home Office after her son was blocked from the flight on Sunday.

The letter states that the child’s claim to British citizenship was no longer valid because it had “come to light” that the man Ms Keita was married to at the time of his birth was not settled in Britain.

Since a change to legislation in 1983, children born in the UK will only have British citizenship if at least one of their parents is a British citizen or is living in the UK with permission to stay in the country permanently.

The boy now remains in Brussels with ​the family he was staying with, friends of his mother. Ms Keita is in the UK and unable to travel because she was residing in the country based on her son’s British citizenship.

Abdoul Diallo, a political advisor for the EU who has been looking after the child in his family home in Belgium and took him to the airport on Sunday, told The Independent he was shocked when he was preventing from boarding the flight.

“We went through all checks and security controls in the airport, but as we were about to board plane, the staff said British authorities had sent them email saying the child cannot board,” he said.

“It was a shock. We were told to go to the British embassy, but it was Sunday and the next day was a bank holiday. I had to call the Belgian police, who gave me a document saying I should look after the child until a solution is found.”

Mr Diallo said that Mohamed appeared to be relaxed about the situation so far, but warned that it may become more difficult once his friends go back to school on Wednesday, at which point he will be looked after by Mr Diallo’s mother.

“We’re going to have him for one more week. He has been happily playing with my eight-year-old daughter and my nephew who is six, but they will start school tomorrow. That’s when he will start realising the situation,” he said.

“Hawa is residing in the UK based on his British nationality, so she cannot leave the country, meaning for the time being the child is stuck here. No matter what the parents have done, the child shouldn’t be separated from them.”

Responding to the incident, Ms Abbott told The Independent: “This case is truly shocking. That this government would preside over a system blocking a six-year old born here from returning home is almost beyond belief.

“We have ministers telling us they are sorting out the Windrush scandal, and their hostile environment isn’t to blame. But this shows their reassurances are worthless.

“People being refused re-entry here is exactly one of the effects of their policies. It will keep on happening until they abandon the hostile environment altogether.”

Chai Patel, legal policy director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), called for a full and independent inquiry into "this shambles of a Home Office”, accusing the department of "stranding a young child in a foreign country, when the only home he knows is in the UK".

"He was born in Leeds. It is disgraceful that he is not being allowed to return, and shows that the Home Secretary continues to have scant regard to his legal duty to safeguard the best interests of children," he added.

The letter to Ms Keita from the Home Office in March stated that the child’s claim to British citizenship was no longer valid because it had “come to light” that neither she nor her husband were settled in Britain at the time of the child’s birth.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3231 Postby animist » September 5th, 2018, 11:06 am

Alan H wrote:Looks like the Tories don't object to the death penalty any longer... Is the UK government's stance on the death penalty shifting?

surely we all know that death sentences engender martyrs

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3232 Postby Alan H » October 11th, 2018, 10:41 am

All going according to plan, then? Universal Credit: 580,000 People Risk Losing Benefit Payments In Next Roll Out Of Reforms
As many as 580,000 people could lose out on benefits payments in the changeover to Universal Credit, leaving vulnerable and hard-up families in crisis.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is currently rolling out the government’s flagship benefits reform programme and is due to move 2 million more claimants onto Universal Credit next year.

But the latest data shows that a “worryingly high” rate of claims are not being successfully processed onto the new system, HuffPost UK can reveal, with 29% closed or not paid.

If the current claim failure rates were replicated in the next stage of Universal Credit roll-out then 580,000 people who are currently receiving benefits, including many low income families who are in work and receiving income support, would lose out on payments.

The figures have led to urgent demands for the government to halt Universal Credit, which has been besieged by criticism from both the Labour Party and disability and welfare charities.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3233 Postby Alan H » October 18th, 2018, 12:20 am

£1,500,000,000 Benefits errors trigger £5,000 refunds for ESA claimants
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed it is paying more than £1.5bn due to the mistakes.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

ChadGil
Posts: 1
Joined: October 23rd, 2018, 9:36 am

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3234 Postby ChadGil » October 31st, 2018, 2:36 pm

Those are some costly errors indeed. Some of us would hang for errors like that, but when the government does it, no big deal. Business as usual.

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Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3235 Postby Alan H » November 13th, 2018, 10:41 am

Welcome to Tory Britain: U.N.’s Expert on ‘Extreme Poverty’ Is Investigating Britain. Why?
Special rapporteurs for extreme poverty are mandated to visit and investigate countries with high levels of deprivation and then report their findings to the United Nations. They have historically spent most of their time in the developing world, and Mr. Alston’s trip to Britain is only the second mission to a Western European country by a poverty rapporteur this century.

“There’s an oddity to this, obviously,” said David Gordon, director of the Townsend Center for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol, who met Mr. Alston on the second day of his tour. “When you think of the special rapporteurs on extreme poverty and human rights, you expect them to be visiting sub-Saharan Africa or Haiti. You don’t expect them to be visiting the U.K.”


Brexit will make this worse, of course. It's what we voted for...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 23700
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#3236 Postby Alan H » November 16th, 2018, 6:09 pm

"Open your eyes - there is very real poverty out there." UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston says there are people in the UK "living in destitution" and that "government people haven't been out in the field to see what the real circumstances are."


Watch
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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