TRADE TRADE:

Blair ready to surrender EU rebate with no payback (David Rennie in Brussels and Toby Helm, 30/11/2005, Daily Telegraph)

Tony Blair is preparing to dismantle Britain’s annual rebate from the European Union budget – secured by Margaret Thatcher in 1984 – in a move that will cost the taxpayer billions of pounds.

He is ready to split it into parts that he can defend as “fair” – including Britain’s rebate from the Common Agricultural Policy – and others that are less easy to justify, including spending on enlargement, Whitehall sources said.

If Mr. Blair means they’ll exchange the rebate for EU reform and elimination of trade barriers then it makes sense. If he’s just surrendering then he’s crazy.

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