Polexit plans? Conservative ruling party denies rumors country will leave EU

The head of Poland's ruling right-wing Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, takes a vote in parliament during debate on new regulations that are to allow the 460 lawmakers to attend sessions and vote remotely online in a move to fight the spread of the coronavirus, in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, March 26, 2020. Unlike many of the attending lawmakers, Kaczynski did not wear protective gloves or mask. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

The head of the Parliamentary Caucus of Law and Justice (PiS), Ryszard Terlecki, has denied his party is planning any withdrawal from the European Union and accused the opposition and liberal media of creating the very idea of Polexit.

Terlecki was responding to reactions to his remarks during the Economic Forum in Karpacz. There, he commented on the European Commission’s quest to fine Poland for alleged rule of law abuses:

“We have to look at how best to work together so we all can remain in the EU, so it is shaped in a way we can all accept. Otherwise, we will have to look for drastic solutions,“ he said.

With regard to Brexit, Terlecki noted that it had been caused by Brussels.

“The British decided that dictate from Brussels wasn’t for them, so they left. We don’t want to leave, and support for the EU in Poland is very strong, but we cannot accept something that constrains are freedoms and development,” he said.

Opposition politicians and liberal media have been using these remarks as evidence of ruling party plans to leave the EU. Terlecki pushed back against the accusations on social media.

“Poland has been, is and will be a member of the EU. Polexit is a construct invented by PO (Civic Platform) and TVN24 (television news channel). We are currently engaged in a struggle to ensure that the EU keeps faith with the principles that underlay its foundation rather than become embroiled in conflicts inspired by the total opposition. We trust that the existing stalemate and crisis within the EU can be overcome.”

Poland’s government spokesman Piotr Muller denied that Terlecki or anyone else within the ruling party was suggesting Poland could leave the EU.

“There will be no Polish exit from the EU. We are for Polish membership of the EU but insist that Poland‘s rights are respected,” emphasized Muller.

He said the government would not accept that Poland should just do as it’s told, as had been the case during the premiership of Donald Tusk. He also rejected any notion Poland could follow the route taken by Great Britain.

“We will not follow Britain’s example because that is not in our interests. Poland in the EU is a more prosperous Poland which benefits from mutual trade, is safer geopolitically. But that does not change the fact that we have to argue our case in the EU and have every right to contest certain decisions,” concluded Poland’s government spokesman.

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