Brexit and the future of the European Union

The session about Brexit during the 28th Economic Forum in Krynica allowed for a combination of different perspectives: the audience could listen to opinions of EU member states, Great Britain and business. The list of participants of the session “Brexit and the future of the European Union” included: Tudor Buzatu, Secretary of State of Romania, Przemysław Kamil Rosiak, Parner Associate at D.Dobkowski sp.k., a law firm associated with KPMG in Poland, Jonathan Knott, British Ambassador in Warsaw, Iztok Mirošič, Secretary of State in the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Marcin Święcicki, MP from Poland, who moderated the meeting.

 

Maricn Święcicki started the session with presenting a brief summary of the current situation. He directed the interlocutors’ attention to the ongoing Brexit negotiations:

Great Britain has decided to leave the European Union. The question is what has already been established and which topics are still open?

According to the British ambassador in Poland, business relations between the United Kingdom and the Union will not change much, although specific rules for economic cooperation need to be clarified. The following issues remain open:

  • Security issues, including military cooperation – especially in the context of Russia’s worrying behavior in recent years.
  • The issue of cooperation in combating terrorism and smuggling.
  • Arranging cooperation in such a way that citizens of both Great Britain and the European Union could continue their current life.

In Jonathan Knott’s opinion, the solutions proposed in the White Paper published in July will secure retaining business realtions. “The business will practically feel no change”, he said.

 

 

Iztok Mirošič sees the future in much darker colors. The Slovenian politician believes that the negative effects of Great Britain leaving the European Union will be suffered by both parties. In addition to determining the rules of economic exchange (43% of exports from the United Kingdom goes to the EU), many other problems remain to be solved, such as the relationship of the United Kingdom and Ireland or issues of future legal regulations in the UK (so far strongly related to the legal system of the European Union). Mirošič also stressed that all sectors of the economy should be treated in the same way. The EU should not allow Great Britain to maintain close cooperation only in those areas, which are particularly important for the UK (the so-called Brexit cherry-picking). If the principle of free movement is to applies to trade in goods, it should also cover services and the flow of people.

 

 

Przemysław Rosiak stressed the role of economic cooperation between Poland and Great Britain in the sectors of motorization, food production and transport. He also positively commented on British white paper as business-friendly. In his speech, he expressed sympathy for the British, whose two generations were brought up in the Union and now only have two years to negotiate on leaving the Union.

Marcin Święcicki disagreed with the last issue. He thinks the opposite – the lack of agreement can have very negative, even catastrophic consequences. In his opinion, the business has enough time to prepare for the change.

The discussion concluded with the question concerning the future of the EU: Janthan Knott asked what would happen to the EU after the departure of Great Britain and whether the ties between the EU member states would be tightened, or on the contrary – more countries would decide to “exit”.