Press release

PM announces landmark new package of defence and security cooperation with Poland

Theresa May travels to Warsaw ahead of an annual summit designed to strengthen the relationship between the UK and Poland.

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The Prime Minister will travel to Warsaw today for an annual summit designed to strengthen the relationship between the UK and Poland as Britain prepares to leave the EU.

The UK-Poland bilateral summit will bring together both Prime Ministers along with a number of senior Cabinet ministers, including the Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, Home Secretary and Business Secretary.

As an integral part of the summit, the Prime Minister is expected to announce a new joint UK-Poland Treaty on Defence and Security Co-operation. The only other European Union country we have such a treaty with is France.

It will provide a framework for defence cooperation on areas such as training, exercises, information sharing, defence industry cooperation and capability development, building on the deployment of British troops to Poland under Enhanced Forward Presence following the last UK-Poland summit held in London in November 2016.

The Prime Minister is also set to agree improved UK-Poland cooperation to counter Russian disinformation in the region, including through new joint strategic communications projects. The UK will provide £5 million for the projects, with Poland expected to contribute a similar amount. The projects will aim to build both of our capacities to detect and counter Russian information operations, and deliver valuable support to Belsat, a Polish-funded TV channel providing unbiased, free and frank reporting for Belarussians.

And she will announce that we will enhance our cyber security cooperation with Poland, including by hosting a Polish cyber delegation at our National Cyber Security Centre in March next year to share the UK’s world-leading expertise and best practice in this area.

Speaking ahead of the summit, the Prime Minister said:

Poland matters greatly to the UK: our partnership is broad, vibrant and diverse and we both share a steadfast commitment to Europe’s security and defence.

I am determined that Brexit will not weaken our relationship with Poland. Rather, it will serve as a catalyst to strengthen it.

And that is why I am in Warsaw today, to ensure that we can work even more closely together to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.

Although the UK is leaving the European Union, we are not leaving Europe. And I will reaffirm to Prime Minister Morawiecki that we want to work with Poland and the other member states in the future to protect our shared values, people and interests.

We are building a strategic partnership from a base of shared history and deep ties of friendship that will continue to flourish long after our departure from the EU.

The bilateral defence treaty we are signing today is a powerful symbol of our continued close cooperation.

Published 21 December 2017