Poland against no-deal Brexit but prepared for it - gov't spokeswoman

Poland will do everything to avert a no-deal Brexit, but is still prepared for such an unwanted scenario, government spokeswoman Joanna Kopcińska said on Thursday, ahead of a two-day EU summit that will also deal with the UK's motion to postpone the Brexit date.

Other issues to be discussed by leaders of EU member states include relations with China and the EU's single market.

Speaking to Polish public Radio One, Kopcińska said that "a no-deal Brexit is the worst solution of all."

"And if the proposal to postpone the date of Great Britain leaving the EU is helpful for the ratification (of the separation agreement by the British parliament - PAP), then Poland will present its tangible, crucial and fact-based stance," Kopcińska said.

"We totally support finding the best solutions and we would like Great Britain to be (in the EU - PAP) as long as possible, as PM Mateusz Morawiecki said: the exit process could as well take years," the government spokeswoman said.

"We are against and we'll do everything to avert a no-deal Brexit, but the Polish government is also prepared for this (...) unfavourable scenario," Kopcińska stressed.

Poland's priority is to preserve the rights of Polish nationals living in the UK and equal rights for Polish companies, Kopcińska said.

Theresa May applied to European Council President Donald Tusk for a postponement of the EU-UK divorce until June 30, after her efforts to get the Brexit deal through UK parliament had failed.

May said she needed more time for preparatory work for a third vote in parliament on a UK-EU divorce deal.

The British PM ruled out the UK's participation in the European Parliament elections this May.

Newly-elected members of the European Parliament will start their terms of office on July 2. If the UK were still an EU member at that time, it would have to elect its 73 deputies.

All the other EU member states, 27 in total, need to agree to the requested prolongation.

Under the present rules, Britain is to leave the bloc on March 29, at 11 p.m. GMT.