Biz Watch

Breaking All the Rules
If there were an Olympic event for irrelevant rulemaking, the E.U. would easily take gold. Last week, two attempts to revamp and reassert regulations were in theory endorsed but in practice ignored. E.U. budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer had proposed scrapping the U.K.'s 20-year-old rebate from Brussels, worth an average $5.7 billion annually. The payback was negotiated in 1984 by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, when Britain was one of the club's poorest members. The U.K. has since enjoyed unparalleled economic growth — and newer, poorer E.U. members

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