The UK should welcome Poland with open arms once it is ready to leave the EU too

The UK should welcome Poland with open arms once it is ready to leave the EU too

Despite all the attempts at stoking up tensions by Brussels, the United Kingdom certainly does not want to leave the European Union on bad terms and it is of an utmost importance to us to see that the existing relationships with our continental friends grow in strength on a bilateral basis. That is why I and many other MPs have been hard at work hosting and visiting our Polish counterparts in order to establish how we can best assist each other in the years to come.

Certainly much of what our countries could offer one another in any case surpasses the scope of the EU. Take the question of defence for example. The current Polish government has set out to establish permanent NATO bases in Poland and other countries of the pact’s Eastern periphery. The United Kingdom has of course been very supportive and will continue in that vein, as despite Brexit our commitment to NATO will remain as strong as ever, if not even more formidable.

And so NATO’s US troops have been deployed to protect the Suwałki gap between Poland and Lithuania in case of Russian invasion from the Królewiec enclave (Kaliningrad in Russian) whilst ours headed for Estonia. As much as we want peace in Europe, having our troops on the NATO frontier means Great Britain would be immediately implicated in case of any hypothetical Russian aggression on NATO’s Eastern members, which serves as an ultimate security guarantee we can offer.

It is worth pointing out that the overseas NATO members who are sending their battalions to help secure the Eastern flank are almost exclusively the Anglo-Saxon nations of United Kingdom, USA and Canada, with the only exception being Germany. These are hence the true friends of Central Eastern Europe, yet again proving that Atlanticism is alive and kicking, in complete contrast to the faux solidarity of the likes of France et al. vis-à-vis Poland, the wider Visegrad Four or the Baltics.

It is highly symbolic that the new American President Donald Trump has chosen to meet Theresa May as the first foreign head of state, whilst restoring the bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office, and we look forward to rekindling the Special Relationship which has somewhat suffered during Barack Obama’s tenure. It is in that spirit that the United Kingdom will also happily facilitate the resurgence of Atlanticism in Eastern and Central Europe, ensuring that Poland is at the top table.

Over the years the United Kingdom has developed into Poland’s second major export market, which is a testament to the Poles’ entrepreneurial spirit coupled with the openness of the British market. We are very proud of that fact and want to ensure that we close the gap on Poland’s goods top importer by specifically supporting trade between our countries. We also trust that Warsaw will help persuade the Brussels bureaucrats not to torpedo an EU-wide free trade arrangement with Great Britain, which will secure an unhindered flow of Polish exports to the UK.

And of course until we actually leave the European Union, which is likely to happen in 2019, we remain a fully-fledged EU member in a reasonably strong bargaining position due to our contributions to the common budget. As such, we will exert our influence over how our money is spent, for example by backing the improvements to the North-South transport infrastructure between the Baltic, Adriatic and the Black Sea, which Poland attaches so much importance to.

The history of friendship between both our great nations goes back way past the Second World War camaraderie that so many refer to; suffice to say that Canute the Great’s mother Świętosława was Mieszko I’s daughter. And as we embark on a new journey, likely to result in a real free trade European bloc based on the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), we will happily see Poland join us and welcome her with open arms once the Polish nation is ready to leave the EU.

(Photocredit: Number 10)