Saturday 29 April 2017

We want Britain close to the EU, says Poland's top politician

Jaroslaw Kaczynski said he was assured that 'in the first phase of negotiations Britain will want to take care of the issue in a positive way' (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)
Jaroslaw Kaczynski said he was assured that 'in the first phase of negotiations Britain will want to take care of the issue in a positive way' (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

Poland's most powerful politician has said he received assurances from Prime Minister Theresa May that the rights of Poles living in Britain will be approached in a favourable way in the early stages of Britain's exit negotiations with the European Union.

Ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski met Mrs May in London on Thursday, a day after their planned meeting was put off following the deadly attack near Parliament.

Mr Kaczynski said after the 10 Downing Street meeting that he was grateful to Mrs May that it was held, despite the tragic events.

On a key issue for Poland of preserving the rights of hundreds of thousands of Poles living in Britain, Mr Kaczynski said he was assured that "in the first phase of negotiations Britain will want to take care of the issue in a positive way".

By reciprocity, the rights would also be guaranteed to British citizens living in the European Union, he said.

Mrs May is to trigger the exit procedure next Wednesday, opening some two years of negotiations.

Before the talks, Mr Kaczynski said his message for Mrs May was that Poland "deeply regrets Britain's decision (to leave the EU) but we want it very much to keep very close ties with the EU, with Europe".

Other topics they discussed included the economy, defence and fighting tax evasion, he said.

AP

Press Association

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