Beata Szydlo, Poland’s Prime Minister, stressed the need to maintain “guarantees” for up to one million Poles in this country following talks in Downing Street. Ms May has refused to confirm their rights, insisting that the Government must not “reveal its hand” ahead of the Brexit negotiations, which will begin when she triggers Article 50 next year.
That has prompted accusations that they are being used as ‘bargaining chips’ in the EU exit talks – after Trade Secretary Liam Fox described them as “one of our main cards”.
Ms Szydlo added: “The most important matter from our point of view is that guarantees are maintained for Polish citizens that live and work in the United Kingdom.” However, the Polish Prime Minister backed Ms May’s argument that there must be “reciprocity” – that the rights of British citizens in other EU countries must also be confirmed.
Ms May stressed how both the UK and Poland remained committed to continuing sanctions against Russia until it abides by the Minsk peace deal in Ukraine. And she announced plans for a bilateral defence treaty – part of efforts to cement defence links with Poland, as uncertainty over Brexit continues.
However, the British Prime Minister dodged a question about whether Britain would attempt to use its military muscle to try to secure a better Brexit deal with Poland.
Earlier, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said such a move would be “a little cynical”, insisting there were mutual benefits for countries such as Poland. Sir Michael said: “This is a glimpse of the future, of how we will be deepening our country-to-country relationships with key partners in Europe.
“Right across the board, on exports, on trade, on research, and also on defence and security.” He added: “We are the leading European player in Nato, we are a major export market for the Poles themselves – in fact, Britain is Poland’s third largest export market.”
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
At the press conference, Ms May sought to squash newspaper claims that she is losing sleep over Brexit, saying: “I think there has been a little bit of over-interpretation about sleepless Brexit nights, I have to say.”
Ms Szydlo said, “Brexit will be an interesting experience for all the member states, but that’s in the future,” insisting talks could not begin until the Article 50 notice was triggered next year.
Ms May’s official spokeswoman was forced to retract a suggestion that intelligence-sharing could form part of Brexit negotiations with the EU.
Number 10 clarified that information was shared by security services on the basis of bilateral agreements between countries, so could not form part of the Brexit negotiations.
But the sharing of data through Europol, the EU law enforcement body that handles criminal intelligence, would be part of the talks.
The two leaders confirmed the deployment of 150 British troops to Poland as part of the Nato measures to provide support for the country amid concerns about Russian military activities.
Soldiers from the Light Dragoons regiment in Catterick, as well as a number of armoured vehicles, will be stationed in north-east Poland, close to the border with the Russian enclave Kaliningrad, in April 2017.Reuse content