Deputy speaker discards idea of Polexit referendum

The deputy speaker of the Polish parliament has rejected an idea by an MP from a ruling coalition partner, Solidary Poland, to organise a referendum on Poland's exit from the EU in 2027.

Janusz Kowalski, a member of Solidary Poland, told the news portal Onet.pl that if the European Union does not change its policy as regards climate and many others issues, Poland will have to verify its willingness to stay in the bloc.

"The year 2027, when the current budget perspective ends, will be the possible time for a referendum on Poland's exit from the EU," Kowalski said.

"If we do not stop the Eurocrats, the cost of living in Poland will be too high. Poland's exit from the EU will hit the German economy, so we must start playing hard. Poland cannot be a beggar in the EU," he added.

In response to Kowalski's statement, Ryszard Terlecki, the deputy speaker of the Polish parliament and a prominent member of Law and Justice party (PiS), said that although he respects the views of the ruling United Right (ZP) caucus member, "Mr. Janusz Kowalski can hold a referendum at home rather than announce one in Poland."

He also said that that it was a private statement by an MP, who "tries to be very radical and thinks that he will build support among voters."

"There is also nothing to talk about," Terlecki added.

Later on Thursday, Piotr Mueller, the Polish government spokesman, told a press briefing that the government did not have any plans to organise a referendum on Poland's membership in the EU.

He said that Kowalski's statement had not been consulted with the government and was only "his private opinion."

"We believe that Poland is, like other European Union countries, a beneficiary of the fact that we can cooperate economically and politically within the European Union" Mueller said.

"Of course, the European Union has its shortcomings, its imperfections... but at the moment the balance of profits and losses of Poland's membership in the EU is definitely positive for Poland," he added.

In mid-September, PiS in its resolution rejected the possibility of Poland leaving the EU after hints by prominent party members prompted the opposition to accuse PiS of drafting Polexit plans.

In a September interview for PAP, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a deputy prime minister and leader of PiS, said he saw Poland's future in the EU and that there would be 'no Polexit' and called it "a propaganda invention" used against PiS.

He added, however, that his party wants to end what he sees as a crisis in the EU in which treaties are broken and states treated differently.

According to Borys Budka, the head of the parliamentary caucus of the main opposition Civic Coalition bloc, Kowalski's statement "reveals the Polexit scenario that the PiS leader and his team are writing for Poland."

"Today, after PiS denied the legal foundations of the EU, we are dealing with another scandalous statement by a prominent PiS politician, former minister in Mateusz Morawiecki's government, MP Kowalski, who reveals actual intentions and even gives a date for a possible Polexit," Budka said.

"Let's be clear about it, without any bluntness: if anyone proposes Poland's withdrawal from the EU in a situation where we have such a dangerous situation at the eastern border, in a situation of global threats, they are committing high treason," he added.