Boris holds ‘urgent’ phone call with Polish PM as EU panics over Polexit threat

Poland could force EU exit through parliament warns ex-deputy PM

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The Prime Minister spoke to Mateus Morawiecki about his concerns over the ECJ’s role in overseeing the Northern Ireland Protocol. He also discussed Poland’s own frustrations at the court imposing rules in Warsaw that undermine its national sovereignty.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister updated Prime Minister Morawiecki on the latest discussions over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“He outlined the need to make urgent progress on this issue in order to protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

“He underlined his concerns about the role of the European Court of Justice in Northern Ireland and noted the debate in Poland about the role of the Court too.”

Under government reforms to the judicial system in Poland, members of the National Council of the Judiciary which reviews nominations of judges, are now chosen by the country’s parliament.

It means the nationalist PiS party that currently governs Poland largely has control over the judiciary.

The EU member has also made changes to a disciplinary tribunal for judges which critics say undermine judicial independence.

The European Court of Justice had demanded the reforms be urgently undone and yesterday ruled Poland must pay daily fines of €1million (£845,915) until it takes action.

Poland has accused the EU of “blackmail” and said it will not pay the fines, leading to fears in Brussels that the country is heading towards quitting the bloc.

In this morning’s phone call, Mr Johnson said he wanted to deepen his relationship with Warsaw on areas of mutual interest.

“The leaders discussed the UK-Poland relationship and agreed on its strength and importance in institutions like NATO,” the No10 official said.

“They resolved to further deepen cooperation across defence, security and wider foreign policy issues.”

Britain is currently locked in discussions with the EU over the ECJ’s role in the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Lord Frost want to see the court removed as the final arbitrator for disputes over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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He has said “we cannot have the courts of one side settling disputes between us” and wants a new “balanced” arbitration panel to be implemented in its place.

The EU has so far rejected the demands saying it would require renegotiating the Protocol.

Lord Frost has warned he will trigger Article 16 to suspend aspects of the mechanism if Brussels does not yield.

It is thought the UK will make a decision on progress in negotiations in the middle of November.

As well as discussing their shared frustrations with the EU, Mr Johnson and Mr Morawiecki also spoke about next week’s COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow and the need for the world to massively reduce its carbon footprint.

The Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Morawiecki to Glasgow next week.

“He praised Poland’s shift away from reliance on fossil fuels towards renewable energy.

“He expressed his hope that further progress will be made on this and wider efforts on coal, cars, cash and trees.”

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