The UK and Poland have today (20 December) pledged to ramp up defence and security to face emerging threats such as cyber attacks and hostile Russian activity.
The two countries’ Prime Ministers and senior ministerial teams agreed key areas of progress at the third annual UK-Poland Inter-Governmental Consultations and celebrated an historic relationship that has delivered so much for the people of both countries.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
The UK and Poland’s relationship continues to go from strength to strength, and Poland is a vital partner as negotiations on our withdrawal from the EU continue.
Today we have agreed progress in a number of key areas, including the beginning of joint consultations on cyber and Russia early next year, and a mutual desire to push ever harder for the reforms necessary to make NATO an effective deterrent against these challenges.
Together, this marks one of the first and most significant international partnerships aimed at curbing Russian malign activity across the continent.
Domestically, we already confront serious organised crime together and we have reduced Polish victims of modern slavery in the UK by a third, but we all know this progress must continue.
We are committed to deepening our partnership in the realms of security and prosperity, and a real flourishing of the links between our populations beyond Brexit.
Today’s Consultations came as the UK and Poland prepared to mark 100 years since our countries re-established diplomatic relations and began building the broad, vibrant and diverse partnership that we enjoy today.
Following meetings at Downing Street and Lancaster House, the two countries agreed:
- To strengthen our cyber partnership to ensure strong responses to hostile state activity. Consultations on cyber will begin early next year and focus on prevention, attribution and consequential sanctions.
- Wider UK-Poland consultations on Russia, beginning early next summer, to share information and improve insight into developments in the region, resulting in a more effective international response to Russian malign activity and greater resilience to hostile state activity in Eastern Partnership countries.
- Joint support for NATO reforms to ensure it has the right capabilities to deal with the growing number of threats and challenges we all face. This means collectively helping to ensure NATO remains relevant in the evolving security context, and encouraging all allies to follow through with decisions taken at this year’s NATO Summit for which the UK and Poland are fully aligned.
- A Clean Growth Partnership, working together on initiatives to decrease emissions and increase economic growth, including a second Business, Trade and Investment Forum focused on Clean Growth. Together we will build on our joint “Driving Change Together” initiative launched during COP24 in Katowice, exploring ways to tackle global green issues such as climate change.
- A Tech Partnership, including holding a ‘Start-up Games’ in Warsaw to bring start-up talent and potential investors together. The winners will participate in an intensive programme of business development, with introductions to business accelerators, to help internationalise their business.
- And through the existing strength of business links, a pilot UK-Polish tech hub programme will be established as a platform dedicated to forming innovation partnerships between start-up businesses in both countries, scouting for entrepreneurial talent, forging links with corporates and boosting trade, investment and productivity to the benefit of both our economies.
View the joint communique, agreed by both Prime Ministers.