MOSCOW (Sputnik) — It is mostly up to the United Kingdom to push the talks on the country's withdrawal from the European Union forward, Margaritis Schinas, the chief spokesman of the European Commission, said Monday as the fifth round of Brexit talks begins.
During the European Commission's midday press briefing, Schinas was asked to comment on the published extracts of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's speech to the UK parliament, in which she is expected to say later on Monday that "the ball is in their court."
"There is a clear sequencing to these talks, and there has been so far no solution found on step one, which is the divorce proceedings, so the ball is entirely in the UK court for the rest to happen," Schinas said.
Brexit negotiations officially started in June and are due to be completed by late March 2019. Following the fourth round of talks in late September, UK Brexit Secretary David Davis stated that the two parties managed to achieve considerable progress on a number of issues, including "increasing certainty for citizens and businesses," as well as issues related to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.