The European Union is expected to add to its demands of London the Greek claim for the return of the Parthenon sculptures, also known as ”the Elgin Marbles,” currently at the British Museum.
This was reported on Tuesday by the US-based website Bloomberg, which claims to have obtained access to draft documents of the European Union’s negotiating mandate.
According to this new report, the top EU diplomats who are currently shaping the European position for the upcoming trade-deal negotiations with the UK have agreed to add this Greek demand to the prerequisites Europe will request from London.
These high-ranking diplomats will reportedly request that London ”address issues relating to the return or restitution of unlawfully-removed cultural objects to their countries of origin,” if Britain wishes to ink a free trade deal with the EU and its enormous single market.
If the report proves to be accurate, this will be a major diplomatic victory for Greece, since it will be the first time in history that the EU as an entity has demanded that the UK return the ancient Greek sculptures it currently possesses.
The Parthenon Sculptures: A Story of Cultural Theft
Bring them back! Full story: https://bit.ly/2DDq8Me
Posted by Greek Reporter on Wednesday, February 6, 2019
There are strong indications that Brussels will follow a tough stance against the recently-withdrawn member of the Union in order to show a united front against London.
There are also reports suggesting that the European Union will also support Spain in its claims over Gibraltar, another major issue that the Johnson administration will have to deal with at some point.
It is noted that the United Kingdom is expected to cease following the EU’s trade regulations and European laws on January 1, 2021.
The two sides hope that by then, a comprehensive free-trade deal will have been agreed-upon in order for the smooth trade between the two sides of the English Channel to continue.
However, the EU’s tough stance, along with London’s own hardline approach, brings the danger of a no-deal scenario back to the table, with Great Britain becoming entirely cut off from its largest trading partner. This unfortunate scenario would have unpredictable consequences for its economy.