Poland's top politician: We want Britain close to EU

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2017 2:30 PM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's most powerful politician says he received assurances from British Prime Minister Theresa May that rights of Poles living in Britain will be approached in a favorable way in the early stages of Britain's exit negotiations with The European Union.

Ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski met with May in London on Thursday, a day after their planned meeting was put off following the deadly attack near the British Parliament.

Kaczynski said after the 10 Downing Street meeting he was grateful to May it was held, despite the tragic events.

On a key issue for Poland of preserving the rights of hundreds of thousands of Poles living in Britain, Kaczynski said he was assured that "in the first phase of negotiations Britain will want to take care of the issue in a positive way."

By reciprocity, the rights would also be guaranteed to British citizens living in the European Union, he said.

May is to trigger the exit procedure next Wednesday, opening some two years of negotiations.

Before the talks Kaczynski said his message for May was that Poland "deeply regrets Britain's decision (to leave the EU) but we want it very much to keep very close ties with the EU, with Europe."

Other topics they discussed included economy, defense and fighting tax evasion, he said.