• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


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  • 21 April 2017

    "Nobody wants the Brexit process to come across as a punishment of the UK,” the Deputy Foreign Konrad Szymański said after Prime Minister Beata Szydło's meeting with Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator.

    At the press conference on Thursday, Deputy Minister Szymański said that Barnier's visit to Poland was focused on presenting him with Poland’s expectations for the EU’s negotiations with the UK.

    "First of all the agreement regarding the exit procedure, but we are expecting in the near future a new partnership agreement, which is of interest to both the British side and the Polish side," the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. 

    "We would like Brexit not to have excessive side effects, so that political, economic and commercial consequences are minimized," he added.

    "In order to achieve an ambitious agreement that will replace the UK's membership in the EU, we need to negotiate good conditions as soon as possible to protect the rights of citizens of all 27 EU Member States, those that are staying in the EU, in particular Poles who make up the biggest national group among EU nationalities in the UK,” Deputy Minister Szymański said. 

    He said that the other important aspect within the context of Brexit was the issue of financial settlements, something that Prime Minister Szydło confirmed during the Thursday meeting with Barnier. 

    "We would like all budgetary and financial commitments that have been made over a very long time as a result of UK membership in the EU to be defined in a meaningful way so that both parties have a sense of fulfilment of important obligations that are due, that are real," the deputy head of the MFA stressed. 

    "No one is keen on the Brexit process to come across in any way as a punishment of the UK for its democratic decision to leave the EU. It is certainly not the intention of the Polish side, it is not the intention of the chief negotiator, we want both sides, both societies, to feel that these negotiations are mutually leading to a satisfactory effect,” he added.


    Deputy Minister Szymański noted that the ratification of the Brexit agreement in the parliaments of individual member states and the UK Parliament will need "a great deal of peace, precision and good definition of mutual expectations".

    "I think this was a very good day from the perspective of the visibility of Polish interests, Poland’s expectations towards the soon to be launched negotiations on the UK's exit from the EU and the expectations and interests that linked to the process," the deputy head of the MFA said.

    Asked whether after Thursday's talks he maintained that all Polish demands would be included in the position of the European Council, Deputy Minister Szymański emphasized that as long as the European Council guidelines on this issue are not signed by all heads of government one could not say that the case is closed. 

    "The issue is currently in a very hot, key moment,” he stressed. 

    He added that the heads of government of all member states are currently engaged in shaping these guidelines in the right way. 

    "We can note with satisfaction that the Polish expectations in this matter are well understood in Brussels and in the capitals of the member states," he pointed out.

    "I hope this gives us a chance to sign the guidelines in a form that will meet Polish expectations on April 29," Deputy Minister Szymański said. 

    Asked about the dangers regarding Brexit negotiations, the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied that the Polish side depends "not only on the general rules (in the negotiating guidelines) being well written, but also that they use strict language, so that there are no doubts as to how one should interpret individual elements of the mandate.” 

    "We see clear progress in terms of the language used in the guidelines as in the case of the negotiating directives of the committee itself, which is the result of the months of consultations that we have conducted," he added.

    "Today we have an important moment, almost the day before the end of the first phase of this process. Let us remember that according to Polish expectations, the European Council will return to this topic, when we are able to move on to the second phase of negotiations,” Deputy Minister Szymański said. 


    "We will ensure that the consent of all member states, including the Polish consensus on this matter, is necessary to move on. We are interested in moving on, but not at any cost. This is a conditional approval – without resolving what from the Polish perspective are key problems, we do not see the possibility of easily solving those expectations, key British expectations, that is shaping ambitious close relations after Brexit," he said.

    Deputy Minister Szymański was also asked whether the issue of the election in the UK was discussed at today's meeting with Barnier. He emphasized that neither Poland nor the EU should be overly involved in the UK's internal debate. "These elections will certainly give rise to new political light," he added.

    With regard to the question of the expectations of EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom he said that the Polish side would like the acquired rights of these citizens to remain unchanged, as they result from the EU order, and also that they not be the subject of a political game after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

    "We would like to make it clear that when we talk about the reciprocal protection of these rights, which is a valid principle, we are talking about reciprocity in an area defined by EU law." 

    “So that this area does not open up to interpretation or is narrowed in the future,” he added. 


    Source: PAP

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