Poland Faces ‘Deadly Serious’ Risk of Falling Out of EU after UK, Tusk Warns
Former UK Prime Minister did not intend to lead his country out of the EU with the 2016 Brexit referendum, and Poland is even more prone to political miscalculation in that regard, the European Council head warned.
The President of the European Council, former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, has urged his compatriots to “come to their senses” over a “deadly serious” risk that Poland might end up being the next out of the EU after Britain.
Tusk’s warning comes against the backdrop of intermitted clashes of Poland’s ruling conservative and eurosceptic Law and Justice Party (PiS) led by former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski with the European Commission over the rule of law and immigration, among other issues.
The European Council head pointed out that back in 2016, then British Prime Minister David Cameron had no intention of getting the UK to leave the EU when he called the Brexit referendum.
Poland now faces the same kind of risk of political miscalculation as the one that brought about Brexit, Tusk warned
“It does not matter to me whether [PiS leader] Jaroslaw Kaczynski plans to leave the EU or just initiates some processes that lead to that outcome,” Tusk told reporters during a visit to Warsaw, as cited by Reuters.
“The issue is that Cameron also had no plan to take the UK out of the EU. And the will (among member states) to keep Poland inside the EU is smaller than the will to keep the UK in it,” he said.
“This issue is incredibly serious, the risk is deadly serious, I want everybody to come to their senses,” the head of the European Council warned.
The EU executive, the European Commission, is presently carrying out an investigation into the rule of law in Poland described as unprecedented.
Poland’s recent local elections are construed as seeing a more limited victory for PiS because of a scandal last month in which the Polish Justice Minister asked the Constitutional Court to examine if EU law was compatible with the country’s constitution.
This caused outraged among Poland’s pro-EU voters and motivated them to go to the polls, helping liberal and independent candidates to clinch mayor posts in a number of important cities.
EU Council leader Tusk described the results from Poland’s local elections as a “big warning” for the PiS party.
While Poland’s ruling party has managed to maintain its popularity thanks to economic growth, welfare reforms, and nationalist rhetoric, many in Poland have also been alarmed over the increased control over the judiciary and state media as well as relative isolation within the EU.
Tusk refused to reveal if he was planning to re-enter Poland’s domestic politics after his term as European Council head expires at the end of 2019.
Before that, however, the EU is to hold parliamentary elections in May, and Poland’s next general election is set for the fall of 2019.
(Banner image: Donald Tusk on Twitter)