Prime Minister was under pressure to speak out – after the European Union warned Poland’s ‘entire justice system’ is under threat.
Theresa May has refused to criticise Poland’s slide into authoritarianism on a visit to the country, insisting the concerns are “a matter” for its authorities.
The European Union has started a legal process that could suspend Poland’s voting rights on the Council of Ministers, warning “the entire structure of the justice system” is under threat.
The unprecedented move follows the Polish Government’s attempts to stuff courts with political appointees, including tribunals that will decide the validity of election results.
Ahead of the meeting in Warsaw, Downing Street briefed that the Prime Minister would “raise her concerns with the [Polish] Prime Minister when they meet”.
But, asked about the controversy, Mrs May replied: “These constitutional issues are normally, should be primarily, a matter for the individual country concerned”.
At the press conference, the Prime Minister had tough words for Vladimir Putin, saying: “The Kremlin is trying to undermine the international rules based system. They will not succeed.
But a difference of opinion emerged with the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, over what should happen to the 1m Poles in the UK after Brexit.
Mrs May said she wanted them to stay, hailing a provisional deal with the EU – but Mr Morawiecki said he wanted them to return to Poland and its growing economy.