Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jarosław Kaczyński met British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, just days ahead of the UK’s planned launch of UK-EU divorce proceedings.
"We have been assured that ... the UK will want to take care of [the privileges of Poles living in Britain] positively, and of course, this is mutual," Kaczyński said.
He said that all EU nations would have to guarantee the rights of the two-and-a-half million British citizens living on the European mainland.
Kaczyński added that trade, security, taxes and exchanging information on tax havens, and "historical issues" were also discussed at 10 Downing Street.
Earlier on Thursday, Kaczyński said: “We regret Britain’s decision [to leave the EU] but we really want the UK to maintain close ties with the EU, with Europe.”
Ahead of the meeting, deputy Speaker of the Polish Senate Adam Bielan, who accompanied Kaczyński to London, said that the PiS leader would personally pass on his condolences to May after a terror attack near Westminster on Wednesday, in which at least four were killed and dozens injured.
May and Kaczyński were initially scheduled to meet in London on Wednesday afternoon, but their talks were postponed until 4:45 CET on Thursday after a terrorist ploughed a car into pedestrians.
Before sitting down with May, Kaczyński met with a group of Poles living in the UK at the Polish embassy in London.
Following British voters’ referendum decision last June to leave the EU, May is next Wednesday set to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal notification of her country's intention to quit the bloc.
In November, Polish government ministers held talks in London with their British counterparts as part of their countries’ first ever “intergovernmental consultations.”
The British PM and her Polish counterpart Beata Szydło took part in the talks.
Earlier this month, a Polish-British “Belvedere Forum” took place in Warsaw, bringing together experts, journalists, MPs, and diplomats for a debate on new areas of cooperation after Britain leaves the European Union. (vb/pk)
Source: IAR, PAP