Polish PM at EU Brexit summit
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło will be among 27 EU leaders who at a special summit in Brussels on Saturday are to adopt guidelines for negotiating Brexit conditions with the United Kingdom.
PM Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz
Britain is expected to leave the European Union by March 2019, two years after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the exit procedure. Both sides have two years to negotiate the conditions for the divorce.
Ahead of the EU summit, which will be held without Britain, Szydło said: “At this stage of the negotiations, Poland has three main goals."
The first is to guarantee the rights of Polish citizens living in the United Kingdom. The second "is the issue of financial settlements, and the third is to build the closest possible partnership with the United Kingdom when it leaves the European Union,” she added.
It is estimated that up to one million Poles live in Britain, the majority of whom emigrated there after Poland joined the European Union in 2004. The Polish community comprises the largest migrant population of EU nationals based in Britain.
'We must draw conclusions' from Brexit
Szydło added: "Speaking of future relations and building a European Union based on unity and solidarity, we must also draw conclusions from what has happened and caused Britain’s exit from the EU."
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymański said on Friday: "I think that today I can say that... we have included very precisely all our key expectations into the draft [guidelines] which will be the subject of debate by heads of government” in Brussels.
He pointed to Polish demands that the legal situation of Poles in Britain should not change after Brexit.
"Our position is that all those who moved to Britain when the country was a member of the European Union should permanently enjoy those rights provided by European Union law," Szymański said.
Poland also wants London to remain fairly close to Europe after leaving the EU.
Warsaw “hopes to retain present elements of economic, trade, political and defence cooperation, so that Brexit does not bring about any unwanted, non-proportionate or negative consequences in bilateral relations,” Szymański added.