Speaking to GB News on Friday, Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to the US and Germany, warned the EU that Poland’s constitutional crisis with EU courts is a “more serious” issue than Britain’s relationship with the bloc and must be respected accordingly. As a result he warned leaders must learn the hard lessons from the Brexit negotiations or face a swift Polish exit from the EU.
It come as tensions within the EU have soared after lawmakers in Poland ruled that EU treaties are incompatible with the Polish constitution, a decision which sparked a furious response from EU leaders.
Sir Meyer explained: “This needs to be sorted and to be sorted what it needs is not people like the Dutch Prime Minster or the French President popping up and saying now we have to stamp on the Poles because they have offended one of the cardinal principles of the European Union.
“They have offended one of the cardinal principles of the European Union, but you are not going to sort things out by being abrupt and crude like this!”
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He went on to say how the crisis needs smoothing out, diplomacy and “above all, it needs time” before it descends into chaos.
The former ambassador noted the understandable anger felt by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in response to what he branded was Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s belief in the “Brillo school of diplomacy”.
He added: “There are dangers of things getting out of control!
“And I sometimes wonder if the Polish problem is more serious than the British problem used to be and it could run out of control.”
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In a brutal statement, she said the bloc had three options for sanctioning Poland, either: legally challenge the Polish court ruling, withhold their EU funds, or suspend some of Poland’s rights as a member state.
But Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki blasted Ursula von der Leyen for “blackmail” over the comments and said Poland “will not act under pressure” from the bloc.
While Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo was quick to back up Ursula von der Leyen, saying: “If you want to have the advantages of being in a club… then you need to respect the rules.
“You can’t be a member of a club and say, ‘the rules don’t apply to me!’.”
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