Ties with Britain progressing in good direction - PM

Poland's economic and trade relations with Britain are progressing in a very good direction, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday in London after talks with British counterpart Theresa May.

At a press conference with British PM Theresa May after the talks, Morawiecki said that Britain's Brexit agreement with the EU was the best possible solution for both sides. He described Polish-British ties as intensive and promising, and said they were progressing in a good direction. Morawiecki voiced hope for closer cooperation with Britain in developing modern technology, and in this context underscored the importance of academic exchange between the two countries.

He also announced the foundation of a UK-Poland Tech Partnership project.

Recounting the talks with May, Morawiecki said they also concerned security and defence. He stressed that trans-Atlantic and NATO ties were a key factor in both areas, and advocated their reinforcement in view of the threat from Russia.

Reporting on the Brexit part of the talks, Morawiecki voiced appreciation for May's successful negotiation of the Brexit agreement, noting that the British PM had managed to achieve her goal despite a "very difficult environment." According to Morawiecki, the agreement is the best possible solution for Britain and the EU, as it leaves paths for building positive relations in the future, including in trade, foreign affairs and security, which were of key importance for Poland.

He added that during the agreement's negotiation, Poland strove to support its "pragmatic and creative" aspects.

Morawiecki also voiced contentment over May's assurances that Britain's large Polish community will not suffer status changes after Brexit. He added that the rights of Poles in Britain were effectively anchored in the Brexit agreement.

Morawiecki said both Poland and Britain were in favour of the European integration of the Western Balkans, and announced that the matter will be under discussion during Polish-British talks in Poland in six months' time.

Attending the Polish-British intergovernmental consultations, besides Morawiecki and May were British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Philip Hammond and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark. The Polish side was represented by Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, Entrepreneurship and Technology Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz and Deputy Finance Minister Piotr Nowak.