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Brexit might lead to closer Polish-UK relations: expert

“Brexit will lead to closer bilateral relations between Poland and the UK,” Robin Niblett, PhD, the Director and Chief Executive of Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs), said during the 5th Polish-British Belvedere Forum, in an interview with Poland IN. Regarding the transatlantic relations, he pointed out that “there is an opportunity now for Poland inside the EU and Britain outside it to look for greater congruence between NATO and the EU.”

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Watch the full interview here


When asked if leaving the EU by the UK will lead to the marginalisation of relationships between Britain and Poland, Mr Niblett answered that, in his opinion, the opposite would happen.

“I think… it will lead to closer cooperation, because the UK will have to make an effort. The UK is making a lot of effort right now for global Britain to re-establish bilateral relations with the key European players,” he said, emphasising that Poland is considered one of them.

On a question of whether there is any way Britain itself could contribute to debates going in the EU, Mr Niblett answered that the simple answer would be “no.”

“The key players within the EU… do not want an outside country like Britain contributing and Britain, under the current government, has no incentive and interest to contribute to EU debates and is going to be focused on negotiating and renegotiating its agreements,” he pointed out.

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After being asked if there is room for Poland and Britain to be two focal points to save the Euro-atlanticism due to some European countries’ potential turning away from the US, Robin Niblett replied that “the UK outside the EU can be much more positive about European integration around defence and security.”

He pointed out that the two countries are deeply committed to the transatlantic relations and the NATO alliance, specifically, stressing that “there is an opportunity now for Poland inside the EU and Britain outside it to look for greater congruence between NATO and the EU.”

On the question of whether Britain is still interested in the eastern part of Europe after its commitments in Ukraine during the UK’s presence in the EU, Mr Niblett answered affirmably, stressing that the stability of Europe is in Britain’s interest and “the US sees Britain most valuable in cementing European security.”


The 5th Polish-British Belvedere Forum event took place on Wednesday and Thursday in Warsaw, aimed to establish greater mutual understanding and improve the socio-economic and political partnership between Poland and the UK.

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