Poland open if UK asks for further Brexit extension: PM
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland is open to a potential request by Britain to further extend the process of its exit from the European Union, the Polish prime minister said on Friday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) and the EU's Michel Barnier (left) give a joint news conference in Warsaw on Friday. Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak
Mateusz Morawiecki was speaking after a meeting in Warsaw with the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and ahead of an expected all-important vote by UK lawmakers later the day.
“In the event of a negative vote [in London], if that's what happens, we are open to a request for an extension to the process of the UK exiting the EU," Morawiecki said as he briefed reporters at a joint news conference with the EU’s Barnier in the Polish capital.
The Polish prime minister added: "Six, nine or 12 months – [all] such options are acceptable for us. We would first and foremost want Britain to remain, but if that’s not possible, then we would want to see that Brexit is carried out in an orderly manner.”
Britain’s parliament was on Friday afternoon due to hold a special vote on the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement in a last-ditch attempt by Prime Minister Theresa May to get MPs to back her Brexit deal.
Ahead of the vote, the EU’s Barnier said on Twitter that Britain would secure an extension to Brexit to May 22 if its lawmakers approved the EU divorce deal on Friday.
“Important vote today in House of Commons. As a reminder, approval of Withdrawal Agreement by 29 March will secure extension to 22 May,” Barnier said.
Britain was supposed to leave the bloc this Friday, March 29, but EU leaders meeting in Brussels last week agreed to delay Brexit.
The UK's departure will be postponed to May 22 if the British parliament approves a withdrawal agreement this week.
If UK lawmakers fail to back the deal, Britain will have until April 12 to suggest an alternative to EU leaders or leave without a deal.
Poland's Morawiecki told reporters in Brussels last week that a no-deal Brexit would be a bad scenario for both the UK and the EU.
Around 1 million Poles live in the UK, constituting that country’s largest minority community.
A Polish deputy foreign minister said on Thursday that a no-deal Brexit would "cause enormous damage to everyone.”
Source: PAP, TVP Info