Polish ambassador urges Poles to ‘return to homeland’ after Brexit as economic growth outpaces UK

Number of Polish nationals applying for settled status in UK ‘alarmingly low’

Harry Cockburn
Wednesday 18 September 2019 14:44
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The Polish ambassador to the UK has written to Poles living in Britain urging them to “seriously consider returning to their homeland” after Brexit, and as Poland’s economic surge continues.

Arkady Rzegocki, who has represented Warsaw in the UK since 2016, said in his letter that Poland “regrets” Britain’s departure from the European Union, which is currently due to take place on October 31.

The most recent data from the Office of National Statistics suggests around 832,000 people born in Poland were resident in the UK in 2018, the joint-highest overseas born population with India.

But Mr Rzegocki said just 27 per cent of Poles living in the UK have submitted an application for settled status, and said this figure was an “alarmingly low level”.

He said: “I also encourage you to seriously consider the possibility of returning to your homeland.

“The rapidly growing economy of our country creates more and more opportunities for citizens for development and good living conditions in the country.

“Soon, Great Britain, which has been home to thousands of Poles for generations, will most likely cease to be a member of the European Union – which we regret, but we also see this process as an opportunity to strengthen the bond between our two countries.”

Poland is currently in the grip of an economic boom. The former communist country has seen an uninterrupted pace of high growth averaging 4.2 per cent a year between 1992-2019, even amid the global economic slowdown.

The country’s economy is catching up with those in western Europe, and its GDP per capita is forecast to overtake Portugal’s this year. But one of the factors which could stall it is lack of labour supply.

Meanwhile the UK’s economy has been forecast down amid uncertainty over Brexit and the threat of leaving the EU without a deal.

Additional reporting by PA

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