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UK strategic partnership with Poland will outlast Brexit: PM May

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 04.12.2017 13:35
The UK is “building a strategic partnership with Poland … that will outlast our exit” from the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May has said ahead of talks in Brussels on Monday.

May is expected to meet European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, as well as European Council head Donald Tusk, who quickly changed his travel plans to schedule a meeting with the British prime minister.

The meeting comes ahead of planned December 21 Polish-British governmental talks in Warsaw.

May told Poland's PAP news agency that the UK was “building a strategic partnership with Poland from a base of shared history and deep ties of friendship that will outlast our exit from the EU”.

She added that Poland was important to the UK and that the countries’ partnership was “broad, vibrant and diverse and we both share a steadfast commitment to Europe’s security and defence”.

“Following our last meeting we have British troops stationed in Poland, delivering part of NATO’s enhanced forward presence and signaling our determination to front up to aggression in the region. We work hand-in-hand across the foreign policy spectrum,” she added.

May also said that trade between Poland and the UK was growing.

“In 2016, the UK was Poland’s second largest export destination and almost ten percent of Polish food and agriculture exports end up in British shops,” May said.

May reiterated that ensuring EU citizens’ rights in the UK and UK citizens’ rights in the EU was her “first priority”.

“The one million Polish citizens and 30,000 Polish businesses who have made a home in the UK have made a huge economic, social and cultural contribution to the fabric of our country… No EU citizen legally living in the UK needs to worry,” she said.

She added that one of the main challenges would be setting up a system to register EU nationals’ new UK residence status that would be “simple, transparent and affordable”.

A year after a June 2016 referendum in which the UK decided to leave the bloc, London and Brussels started divorce talks, which are expected to be finalised in 2019.

But the Reuters news agency reported that European Union citizens’ rights in the UK and the Republic of Ireland-Northern Ireland border, the land border between the UK and the EU, remain contentious issues.

Meanwhile, a recent Survation poll cited in the Independent daily said 53 percent of Britons would back a vote on whether to accept the terms of the final Brexit deal, while 47 percent were against such a vote, tipping the scale since April.

The poll also found that about a third of respondents backed May’s suggestion that “no deal is better than a bad deal” in EU negotiations. (vb/pk)

Source: PAP

tags: brexit
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