In his op-ed “Brexit ball is in EU’s court” (POLITICO, August 23), Belgian MEP Johan Van Overtveldt tries to pin the blame for the current Brexit standoff on the European Union, urging Brussels to show some leniency.
His argument is a tired one, often used by his colleagues in the European Parliament from the British Conservative Party, that fails to acknowledge several crucial issues.
If Britain and the EU have reached an impasse over a potential Brexit deal, responsibility over the outcome lies squarely with the U.K.
Brexit, after all, is not a European problem. It is a U.K. problem, caused by a referendum that ultimately failed its voters because it did not explain what the implications of voting Leave would be — for the British people, but also for Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement, which underpins 21 years of fragile peace on the island.
The replacement of May with Boris Johnson as prime minister does not change the facts of the matter. Johnson’s strategy of labeling the backstop as anti-democratic and demanding it be ripped out of the Withdrawal Agreement,…