BREXIT, Polish-British cooperation and Polish diaspora in Great Britain – interview with the Polish Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland
On April 14, 2021, the Warsaw Institute think tank, together with The Warsaw Institute Review quarterly, had the honor of hosting another online event from the Diplomacy Talks Series. The title of the discussion, moderated by the president of the Warsaw Institute, Tomasz Kijewski, was “BREXIT and its importance for Europe and the Polish diaspora in Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. Ambassador dr hab. Arkady Rzegocki presented his assessment of the impact of BREXIT on the cooperation of Great Britain with Poland, the European Union and the region of Central and Eastern Europe.
The Warsaw Institute’s guest analyzed the prospects of cooperation between Great Britain and the European Union related to the Trade and CooperationAgreement . For British entrepreneurs selling their goods in continental Europe, BREXIT means double taxation and extended bureaucracy, unless a company has a branch in the European Union. The British government indicates creative solutions to the problem – setting up branches in the EU. Therefore, the Ambassador encourages representatives of British companies to open their branches also in Poland and join other British brands dynamically developing in the proposed economic environment.
Moreover, the Ambassador emphasized the importance of Poland for the United Kingdom, recalling joint political initiatives, such as meetings of defense ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the quadriga format, meetings of prime ministers and ministers, the Belvedere Forum and the Polish-British Security Round Table, thus emphasizing the constantly tightening ties between both countries. Poland and Poles are increasingly more appreciated by the British nation, also outside the historical context (Second World War), which is noticeable, among others, considering significant positions held by Poles in Great Britain, including those related to public trust.
The subject of the availability of studies at British universities for Poles was also discussed. The British Isles are a popular destination for Polish students wishing to obtain higher education outside Poland. About 6,000 young Poles are currently studying in Great Britain. Unfortunately, Brexit has made the existing conditions of studying more difficult for EU citizens due to the UK’s exit from the Erasmus program – studies are now, in principle, paid for citizens of the European Union countries. Bilateral cooperation between Poland and Great Britain is currently being developed in the field of science and education in order to make it easier for Poles to obtain education at British universities.
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