Tuesday, 17 May 2016

AP Interview: Polish ex-foreign minister sees Brexit dangers

AP Interview: Polish ex-foreign minister sees Brexit dangers

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Radek Sikorski, a former Polish foreign minister with longstanding ties to Britain, said he is "very worried" British voters could opt to leave the European Union, fearing it could weaken a political arrangement that has given Europe its longest-ever period of peace and prosperity.

Speaking to The Associated Press on Monday, Sikorski argued that a weaker EU would be particularly risky for nations like his own, which has historically been at the mercy of its large neighbors Russia and Germany. He also argued that it threatens to leave Britain more isolated and economically weaker.

"I think Britain's membership has been hugely beneficial to the people of Britain," Sikorski said. "So I hope they stay with us. We would miss them."

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Sikorski, who has also held the position of defense minister and speaker of parliament in Poland and is now a senior fellow at Harvard University, argued that a weaker EU would help Russia.

"There is no surprise that Russian media, Russian troll factories, Russian money is supporting Brexit," said Sikorski. "It makes sense that Russia would like to deal with Europe one-by-one and not with the European Union as a whole. That would strengthen Russia's negotiating position vis-a-vis every member state. What surprises me is that some people in smaller countries don't see that."

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