Agreement between EU and UK is good news for Poles - minister

Rafał Guz/PAP

The agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom is good news for Polish entrepreneurs and citizens and will limit the negative effects of Brexit, Poland's Minister for European Affairs Konrad Szymanski has told PAP.

Szymanski said that from the very beginning Poland strove for constructive and persistent EU action in this matter.

"The agreement will limit the negative effects of Brexit. It applies to producers of industrial and agri-food goods. The agreement provides for special facilitation, for example, for the automotive sector, pharmaceuticals and organic farming products. We took care of taking into account the interests of the transport sector, which is especially important for Poland. Carriers will have unlimited access from point to point between the EU and the United Kingdom and full transit rights through each other's territories. Cabotage operations will also be possible to a limited extent," the minister told PAP.

Szymanski added that the agreement will significantly reduce the economic costs of the UK leaving the EU. "It will maintain access to the British market for Polish exporters who in 2019 sold goods in the UK for a total of PLN 61 billion (EUR 13.4 billion). A broad agreement on the coordination of social benefits will be important for the social security of Polish citizens," he said.

He also said that the agreement will allow for the stabilisation and development of political relations between the UK and the EU, which is important to reduce the political costs of Brexit.

A meeting of EU ambassadors on the EU-UK deal after Brexit was held on Friday in Brussels. Michel Barnier, the chief EU negotiator, presented the result of the negotiations. Polish ambassador Andrzej Sados thanked Barnier for the work on the agreement but added that Poland still needed to acquaint itself with the details.

On Thursday, the UK and the European Union signed a mutual relationship agreement which will be binding after the end of the post-Brexit transition period. As a result, from the new year onwards, there will be no tariffs or other disruptions to trade between the EU and the UK.

The process of the UK leaving the EU began exactly 1,646 days ago, when 52 percent of British citizens voted in favour of leaving the Union in a referendum. During this period, the prime minister changed twice and the exit date was postponed twice. The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020, but until the end date of the transition period, December 31 of this year, it is still bound by EU regulations.