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Politics and Economies

We continue our look at Theresa May's speech setting out her position and plan for the UK to leave the EU.

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It's taken Theresa May months to pop her head up and make clear statements about the UK's exit strategy for separation from the EU. There have been hints, partial statements, but there have been no clear policy statements or expressions of exactly what the plan is. This week, she changed that.

And she demonstrated that, at last, she "gets it" so far as the LEAVE vote is concerned.

In this first of a series of highlights from the speech, we explain, with comments, where, on the May plan, the UK, the EU and much of the rest of the world is going.

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Diplomats are expert at couching hard truths in soft language, a trick that leads to ambiguity. There's not much of either in the letter Sir Ivan Rogers left for his staff when he left his post several months early so that he was no longer there when negotiations for the UK to leave the EU start in earnest. In Whitehall, this morning, there will be more bloody noses than pulled punches - but Whitehall has a treacle-like approach to criticism. Standard operating procedure is to hang-around until the fuss dies down, then carry on as before.

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There are few people who do not believe that man is causing harm to the planet and that global warming is a significant part of the problem. However, the specific causes of both global and localised warming are hotly debated, even though some of the results are now beyond doubt. The problem might not be the message: it might be the messengers.

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Donald Trump is not yet in the White House but he's already flexing his muscles. Already at odds with the State Department, which issued an official apology to China because Trump directly spoke to Taiwan's President, Madam TSAI Ing-wen, he's not only unrepentant but, for a man who has a history of casino ownership, he's doubling down on what might be the biggest gamble of his own Presidency, even though he's not President yet.

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In an unprecedented display of authority over its president, the South Korean parliament has voted to impeach President PARK Guen-hye, in part because of allegations that she was under the influence of a non-elected person. What now?

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Donald Trump, as President-Elect of the USA, has been criticised for his lack of clarity and purpose in setting out policies. So he's announced that, on his first day in office, he will withdraw the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal between 12 countries that, together, control an estimated 40% of the world's economy. It does not include China. However, what Trump may not realise is that what he sees as a populist move in the USA echoes what many ordinary people around Asia think of the deal.

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The political posturing that has arisen from the High Court in England and Wales ordering that Article 50 can be triggered only after a Parliamentary vote is ridiculous. Then again, so was the bringing of a case, or the need for one to be brought. Anyone with an ounce of sense always knew that last June's Referendum does not bind Parliament (voters were told that often enough during many TV and Radio programmes and many articles in the media in the period leading up to the referendum) therefore a Parliamentary vote would be required. Anyone who thought otherwise was delusional and lacking in basic knowledge of the fundamentals of how...

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Wherever one looks, economists and market analysts are promoting one or other candidate with words saying that the world will be more stable and better off with that candidate - and that there will be adverse consequences if the other wins. The only logical solution is to assume that, whichever wins, the dollar will fall and markets will take a bashing. So, if capital leaves the US (in real or virtual terms) where can it go?

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