UK and Poland to step up defence and security co-operation in cross-government talks

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Prime Minister Theresa May and senior Cabinet colleagues will meet their Polish counterparts in London today (20 December 2018) to discuss defence, security and prosperity post-Brexit.

The PM will welcome Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on his first visit to Downing Street for bilateral talks. The two leaders will then join their senior ministerial colleagues at Lancaster House for the third annual UK-Poland Inter-Governmental Consultations.

The visit comes ahead of next year’s landmark Centenary, marking 100 years since both countries re-established diplomatic relations since Poland regained independence.

Ahead of the visit, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Poland is one of our closest friends and allies. This partnership works for both our nations, making us safer, more prosperous and more secure.

Throughout history, UK and Poland have stood side by side. We share an unwavering commitment to supporting a stable and peaceful Europe, but are also clear-eyed in recognising the threats we face and the required response.

Today’s talks will agree ambitious steps that build on the landmark joint Defence and Security treaty we signed in Warsaw last year, and set a course for further collaboration in the years ahead.

Attending the Consultations for bilateral talks with their Polish counterparts are the Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, Home Secretary and Business Secretary. They will also attend a working lunch chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Upon arrival at Lancaster House, the two leaders will be greeted by schoolchildren singing English and Polish Christmas carols. They will also attend a Polish diaspora reception where they will meet and talk to people with Polish heritage living in the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Almost one million Poles make their lives in Britain – the largest diaspora in the UK.

I value the contribution the Polish community makes to our economy and our society, and am committed to ensuring the UK remains a welcoming place for Poles to live, work and study.

Today is an opportunity to repeat my message to Polish people – you can stay, and we want you to stay.

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