The fact that the final agreement for Brexit will have to be passed through European Union national parliaments adds weight to the likely reality that negotiations between the UK and EU on the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc will become ever more complex and fractious as the clock ticks towards March 2019: the time when the UK will officially leave.
Some political figures both in Greece, the UK and Europe in general have suggested that the UK return the Parthenon Marbles which were stolen by Lord Elgin over 200 years ago.
Alexis Mantheakis, chairman of the International Parthenon Sculptures Action Committee, indicated that Greece would have some leverage over the UK given that it is one of the 27 parliaments that will have to agree to any deal that is struck.
“The English will need to receive approval from the Greek Parliament for something they want,” said Mantheakis, adding that it is, perhaps, the first time that Greece has the diplomatic means to enforce their return.
The general reaction to the suggestion has predictably been negative in the UK.
The British Museum, where the marbles are displayed, is sticking to its long-held stance in claiming that they were legally bought from the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the area at the time.