’Everything Is Renegotiable’: Former Polish Minister Criticises Eurocrat’s Brexit Threat

(COMBO) This combination of file pictures created on March 12, 2017 shows European Council President Donald Tusk (L, September 15, 2016 in Bratislava) and Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski (March 6, 2017 in Brussels). Regarding the re-election of Tusk as EU President, Waszczykowski accused the policy of the European Union …
JOE KLAMAR,EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty

Poland’s former foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski has criticised European Council President Donald Tusk for rejecting appeals to renegotiate the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement.

Former foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said that he believes “any deal” is better than the UK leaving the bloc with “no deal at all,” even if that meant the European Union breaking from its hardline position and renegotiating.

“I don’t understand why there is no possibility to renegotiate,” the member of Poland’s governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme host John Humphrys on Thursday.

“Everything is renegotiable. And I think that for the reason to keep the United Kingdom as close as possible to the European Union, we’re supposed to do everything to keep it as close as possible.”

Mr Waszczykowski then took aim at the left-wing former Prime Minister of Poland and current President of the European Council Donald Tusk, saying, “I strongly disagree with the notion of President Donald Tusk who mentioned a couple of days ago that there is no room for renegotiations.

“Why Not?” he added.

This is the second time this week Polish politicians have broken rank with Brussels over Brexit, after current foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz called for “a certain measure of flexibility” as a Brexit without a deal would be the “worst solution” for trade ties and expatriates.

In September, fellow Central European nation and UK ally Hungary also decried attempts by the EU to punish Brexit Britain, with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán saying, “what we need is a fair Brexit and a good cooperation between the UK and the European Union in the future.”

After surviving a party confidence vote Wednesday night, the following morning Prime Minister Theresa May set out on another tour of Europe to seek legal and political assurances over the Irish backstop, which could partition the UK and leave Northern Ireland in regulatory alignment with the European Union.

However, it was revealed that senior Eurocrats would be giving just ten minutes of their time for her to attempt to seek those assurances, which Mrs May hopes will change the Parliamentary arithmetic in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement.

“Politically she can have all the warm words she wants, but it was very clear in the meeting that there is very little appetite indeed for anything legally binding,” a senior Brussels source said.

On Thursday, Germany’s Bundestag signalled in its strongest terms that the Withdrawal Agreement was non-negotiable, passing a resolution Thursday in which Merkel lawmakers said, according to Bloomberg, “Any hope that rejection of the agreement will lead to its renegotiation will necessarily turn out to be illusory.”

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