Theresa May: I want Poles to stay in Britain after Brexit

Posted On: 
29th July 2016

Theresa May has sought to reassure Polish people living in the UK that they will not be sent home after Brexit.

Theresa May holds talks with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in Warsaw
PA Images

The Prime Minister also hit out at the "shameful and despicable" attacks on Polish communities since the vote to quit the European Union.

Around 800,000 Polish citizens are estimated to live and work in the UK.

Fresh blow for David Cameron as Poland rejects benefits reform

Theresa May has 'open mind' on post-Brexit trade deal with EU

Jean-Claude Juncker appoints veteran French politician as chief Brexit negotiator

Liam Fox slapped down by No 10 on post-Brexit trade deal

Standing alongside Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, Mrs May said she "wants and expects" them to continue doing so in the future.

"I want to be clear that Poles living in the UK continue to be welcome and we value the contribution that they make to our country," she said. 

"We condemned the shameful and despicable attacks against Polish communities and others in the wake of the referendum result. Hate crime of any kind, directed against any community, race or religion, has absolutely no place in British society.

"I understand that Poles currently living in the UK want to know whether they will retain their rights once the UK leaves the EUI want and expect to be able to guarantee their rights in the UK. The only circumstances in which that would not be possible would be if the rights of British citizens living across the EU were not guaranteed."

Mrs May said she wanted to "strengthen" Britain's relationship with Poland, and as Nato members both countries would continue to work closely on defence and security.

She said: "In the face of the ongoing terrorist attacks in Europe, it is vital that countries like the UK and Poland continue to counter Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

"Working together is the best way to protect our way of life and our shared values from those who are intent on destroying them."