Brexit Will Either Destroy the EU or Expedite the Reforms That Will Make it Stronger

The decision of the British people changes the European landscape. We must do everything to ensure that this does not mark the beginning of the end of the common European project, to transform this failure into a success. We, Poland, also have a role to play in this. We must get to work. 'If we want a strong EU, we must join the camp of the leaders of its consolidation, instead of its contestants,' says Confederation Lewiatan.

'We have to prove that this is not only about EU subsidies, still so important to us, but also about the single market, the common foreign policy, shared values, new competences for the EU in transnational areas. There is no community without the ability to give up some of one's own entitlements. The EU regulations cannot be a loose collection of rules from which members hand-pick only what is convenient to them; we have to work up the ability to compromise, to act in solidarity,' emphasized Henryka Bochniarz, President of Confederation Lewiatan.

There are murmurs in the countries of Old Europe that new member states, instead of becoming a vital impulse to the EU, have turned into its deadweight. We have to turn this view around, we have to show that we share the sense of responsibility for the EU of the Germans, French or Italians, that we live up to EU standards, and that we do not want to be above EU laws. Poland brings up the rear of the member states as regards the implementation of EU directives. The government should quickly redefine the European policy and work towards the inclusion of Poland in the debate on EU future. It is in the best interest of our economy to remain as close as possible to other key EU countries, including Germany.

For Poland, Brexit means primarily economic consequences. The Polish zloty has been tumbling since this morning. Over the rest of the day, it will probably continue to weaken, and the value of the Warsaw Stock Exchange indices is also likely to keep dropping. In the longer run, we should expect some slight adjustments in the trade exchange with Great Britain. Brexit will also have ramifications for Poles living and working in the UK, and, consequently, for the Polish labour market as well. We are likely looking at a greater number of returning expats. Negotiations between the EU and Great Britain also mean that the EU budget until 2020 will have to be renegotiated; this could bring about a reduction in the amount of cohesion funds that Poland receives.

Confederation Lewiatan is in ongoing contact with BUSINESSEUROPE and with other European organizations of entrepreneurs, including CBI. BUSINESSEUROPE President Emma Marcegaglia stresses that the main focus should now be on what is ahead of Europe and the economy. We will encourage political leaders to keep up their unambiguous support for the idea of the European Union, and to shore up the three core pillars of the EU: single market, common trade policy and the euro currency.

Polish Confederation Lewiatan