Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said on Tuesday that the British government “cannot make any moves which would discriminate against Poles” after Downing Street announced that no EU migrants living in the UK would be able to vote in the country’s EU referendum.
Kopacz said that she made the comment during a brief conversation she had held with UK counterpart David Cameron at last week’s Eastern Partnership summit in Riga. The remark comes ahead of Cameron’s planned visit to Warsaw on Friday and after London’s announcement that only UK, Irish and Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK will be eligible to vote on whether the country stays in the EU or not.
“I [told Cameron] that Poles who work in Great Britain are also people who build [the country’s] GDP, are a dependable workforce and I would like them to be treated equally,” Kopacz said. Poland’s PM underlined that she supports a strengthening of Poland’s position in the EU and to become a leader in the CEE region “in order to set the tone for our friends and cooperate with them to allow them to make it easier to represent their own countries’ interests”. “I am not a supporter for any country to leave the EU at this moment,” Kopacz said.
“I am certain that the UK’s upcoming referendum is a domestic issue, but knowing David Cameron’s stance which he has continuously voiced at European Council meetings, it would be a shame for such an experienced politician to dissappear from the Council, just as it would be if the UK were suddenly to find itself outside the EU,” Kopacz underlined. Meanwhile, legislation determining the EU referendum is to be submitted British Parliament on Thursday. David Cameron’s Conservatives have promised to hold the in/out vote by the end of 2017.