Warsaw would be willing to trade a key concession in the British-EU negotiations in return for a “allied military presence” in its territory, according to Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski. Reuters reports:
With hundreds of thousands of Poles living in Britain, Warsaw is one of the EU’s staunchest critics of Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposal to cut benefits for migrants as part of his planned overhaul of Britain’s EU membership terms.[..]
Asked whether Britain could offer Poland something to soften its opposition to Cameron’s proposal, Waszczykowski said: “Of course. Britain could offer something to Poland in terms of international security.
“We still consider ourselves a second-class NATO member-state, because in central Europe … there aren’t, aside from a token presence, any significant allied forces or defense installations, which gives the Russians an excuse to play this region,” he said.
The new Polish government has been getting a lot of bad press, but this is an interesting option—one that Prime Minister David Cameron (and President Barack Obama) should look at closely. It is more important for both Warsaw and for Europe generally that the Eastern border be secure than that a migration policy, which is causing social tension in England and international tension within the EU, continue.
Furthermore, progress on the migrant issue would dramatically increase the odds that the “stay in” side would beat the “let’s quit” side in a British referendum on the EU. That’s very much in the American interest; responding to the Polish suggestion therefore offers the United States the ability to play a helpful role in European politics at a critical time. We hope the U.S. and U.K. take a good, hard look at this offer.