Belvedere Forum discusses influences of Brexit

The influence of Brexit on the future of the EU and its effects on Polish-British cooperation were the topics of discussion at the 3rd Belvedere Forum held at Warsaw's Royal Castle on Thursday.

The 3rd Polish-British Belvedere Forum, this year taking place at Warsaw's Royal Castle, is an annual two-day event bringing together around 300 participants from the cultural sector as well as experts, journalists and diplomats.

Thursday's discussions centred on the influence of Brexit on the future of the EU and its effects on activities relating to Polish-British relations.

This year renowned historian and writer Professor Norman Davies was the recipient of the Polish-British Belvedere Forum Award for his work in building relations between the two countries. When asked about his thoughts on Brexit, Professor Davis spoke of being opposed to the whole idea. "What can I say, nations sometimes make good decisions, and sometimes bad ones. Great Britain has many problems now, we just don't know what to do. It's an absolute unknown, whether we will leave in three weeks' time, I think that we won't. No one knows what will happen next, first and foremost our government doesn't know, they are completely lost." Professor Davis told PAP.

Thursday's first debate with the participation of Professor Marek Cichocki from Poland's 'Political Theology' journal and Charles Grant from the Centre for European Reform, focused on the main consequences of Brexit for the whole of the EU. Professor Cichocki stated that Poland had never thought of Great Britain leaving the EU as a positive step, he also warned that Brexit could turn into a never-ending crisis for Europe. Grant, echoing Professor Davies's thoughts, drew attention to the fact that it is very difficult to assess what will happen at the end of March, when Great Britain is set to leave the European Union.

Arising from a Polish-British initiative in 2016, the first meeting of the Belvedere Forum took place in 2017 and was held in Warsaw's Belvedere Palace, from where the forum takes its name. Meetings are held once a year, alternatively in Great Britain and in Poland. The forum aims to find new levels of cooperation in industry, business and security matters, as well as issues relating to the almost one million Poles living in the United Kingdom and British residents in Poland.