Despite EU Concerns Over Its Illiberal Turn, Poland Is Far From Isolated

Despite EU Concerns Over Its Illiberal Turn, Poland Is Far From Isolated
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo at a press conference, Warsaw, Poland, Sept. 28, 2016 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo was in London last week to meet with her British counterpart, Theresa May, and the status of U.K.-based Polish workers in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum was high on the agenda. Over 900,000 Polish citizens live in the U.K., and their fate once the U.K. leaves the European Union is still unknown.

Speaking before their meeting, May said, “I am determined that Brexit will not weaken our relationship with Poland, rather it will serve as a catalyst to strengthen it.”

It is not surprising that the U.K. is publicly trying to shore up Polish support—May is trying to find allies wherever she can before formal Brexit negotiations are due to start next year. More curious is that May would speak so highly of Poland, which has been causing concern among its EU partners since its October 2015 elections, a ballot that saw the Law and Justice party, known as PiS, win an absolute majority in both chambers of parliament.

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