BRUSSELS: It is up to Britain, not Brussels, to address problems the EU sees in the UK's latest Brexit proposal, a spokeswoman for the European Commission said Thursday (Oct 3).
"As we have said there are problematic points in the United Kingdom's proposal and further work is needed. But that work needs to be done by the United Kingdom and not the other way around," spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud told a media briefing.
The British government on Wednesday submitted its proposal for a new withdrawal agreement from the European Union to back up Prime Minister Boris Johnson's vow to pull his country out of the bloc on Oct 31.
While the EU has cautiously said the document contained some progress on the sticking point of Northern Ireland it also had problems.
Those are understood to focus on the reliance on UK good will and untested technology to prevent a border springing up anew between the British province and EU member Ireland, and a provision periodically allowing part of the Northern Ireland assembly to veto the agreement.
Johnson's ministers have suggested that, having handed over the Brexit proposal, the ball was now in the EU's court.
But the spokeswoman said "we would disagree."
She added: "We would remind you that it's the UK leaving the European Union and not the European Union leaving the UK and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that exit is on an orderly basis.
"And we are willing to engage constructively with our counterparts. But we are not going to be the ones left holding the bag, the ball or any other kind of object."