Polish, British PMs talk bilateral relations over phone

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki held a telephone conversation on Saturday with British counterpart Boris Johnson on bilateral relations, international security and the situation of Poles in UK during the pandemic, Morawiecki said on social media.

They also discussed economic solutions taken during the pandemic, according to Morawiecki's post on Facebook.

"I told Prime Minister Johnson about the introduction of an anti-crisis shield worth about 15 pct of GDP. I pointed out that, while coming out of the crisis caused by the pandemic, Poland plans to focus on innovative sectors of the economy as well as investments. We agreed that this is the best way to return to economic growth," the Polish Prime Minister wrote.

Morawiecki also said that he and Johnson had agreed "to adopt a document indicating the main directions of bilateral cooperation in many areas, including climate and energy policy, technology and internal security."

According to Downing Street office's Saturday statement following the phone conversation between Johnson and Morawiecki, the British Prime Minister told his Polish counterpart that Britain will be ready to quit the European Union "on Australia terms" if no deal on their future relationship is reached.

"On the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the Prime Minister welcomed the agreement on both sides to an intensified process of negotiations in July. He (Johnson - PAP) said the UK would negotiate constructively but equally would be ready to leave the transition period on Australia terms if agreement could not be reached, the statement read.

Australia does not have a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU. Much of EU-Australia trade follows World Trade Organisation rules, though specific agreements are in place for certain goods.

Negotiations have been conducted since March on the future EU-UK relationship beyond a stand-still transition period that ends on December 31, 2020. With no deal in place UK's trade with the EU would automatically fall back on basic World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

The Downing Street office's statement also said that both leaders expressed regret that they could not meet in person for the annual UK-Poland Intergovernmental Consultations. They endorsed the joint Action Plan as a blueprint for UK-Polish cooperation over the coming months on issues including defence and trade.

"The Prime Minister (Johnson - PAP) and Prime Minister Morawiecki also reflected on the strength and history of the relationship between the UK and Poland as we look ahead to the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain," the statement read.

They also discussed the shared fight against coronavirus and agreed on the need to ensure a sustainable global recovery where openness and free trade is prioritised, it added.