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Sick of Brexit?

Brussels negotiators are ready for a combative Brexit and are braced for the divorce talks to go so badly that Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal. The first lesson for negotiators is be prepared.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, said that she was prepared for the worst when Brexit talks begin next week after Theresa May triggers the Article 50 exit clause.

In an interview with The Times, she said that the EU was ready to defend the “jewel” of the single market against unfair competition from Britain. “We are prepared for a conflictual situation,” Mrs Vestager said. “It will not be easy.” The European Commission, she revealed, has “very thorough” contingency plans drawn up if negotiations break down. Let’s hope the UK is as well prepared……..

Sick of claims?

It is alleged that claims companies are targeting clients on social media, informing them about payouts for holiday sickness without medical evidence

At least 15 solicitors’ firms are facing investigation for their potential role in a holiday illness scam that is costing the travel industry millions of pounds a year.

Lawyers are alleged to be paying illicit referral fees to claims management companies for access to clients who say that they have contracted stomach bugs and other ailments while on package holidays.

The claims companies target potential clients through Facebook with suggestions that they can easily be awarded compensation of £2,000 without written evidence, it is alleged.

It said that gastric illness claims now represented 90 per cent of personal injury complaints received by its members, a rise of 30 per cent since 2013.

Abta said that before 2013 claimants generally did not instruct lawyers because many travel companies settled directly with customers.

Neighbours at war

A judge accused warring neighbours of having “handbags in the cul-de-sac” after an 81-year-old man attacked a man living next door with a rounders bat.

Pensioner Peter Lane and Garry Prince came to blows outside their bungalow homes in a scuffle that was the culmination of a nine-year boundary dispute over a concrete pillar, a court heard.

The row happened after a joint restraining order requiring both men to keep the peace expired. The order was issued following a legal row over who owned a 4ft pillar that stands between their driveways.

A court heard the Lanes had lived in Poole, Dorset, for more than 40 years. After Mr Prince moved in next door in 2007, he claimed the pillar between their £265,000 properties was on his land and he wanted it removed to make it easier to park his car.

The dispute ended up going to civil court with a judge ruling the boundary line meant the pillar was on the Lanes’ land.

Mr Prince was ordered to replace the boundary posts he had removed and pay £6,500 in damages. Bournemouth Crown Court heard the fracas happened on May 3 last year.

Mediation is often a better way to resolve neighbour disputes, as this example illustrates.