Yesterday, today and tomorrow. I am a private British citizen and would like to speak to the people of Poland about a subject we both hold dear: freedom.
In 1939 Poland was first to fight against the Nazi Blitzkrieg but, unlike every other occupied country, Poland never surrendered. Britain was the first to declare war on your invaders.
400,000 soldiers in the Home Army continued the fight, providing 48% of all allied intelligence from occupied Europe. In 1944 the Warsaw Uprising was the largest insurrection against the fascists.
A further 250,000 Poles escaped to help Britain fight for our freedom when we were alone. Polish pilots in 303 Squadron shot down more Luftwaffe aircraft than any other in the Battle of Britain. My father, Captain Stefan Moszynski, Virtuti Militari, served in the 1 st Polish Armoured Division which after defending Britain’s shores fought to liberate France, Belgium and Holland.
Yet in 1945 Poland was not free and after six years of war he was unable to return home as Stalin had killed or sent to Siberia most of his family.
Britain, almost bankrupt after the war, nonetheless provided a home to him and another 200,000 Poles as the Iron Curtain descended across Europe.
Freedom for Poland came too late for my father as he died in London in 1971, but his dream and that of every Pole never died. After years of further struggle, Poland finally witnessed free elections again on June 4th 1989.
14 years later the Polish people voted to join the EU.
Last year the British people had a vote on the EU but we decided to leave. It was not an issue of being anti-European but that we did not wish to be governed by an autocratic, unelected bureaucracy which is unaccountable to the will of the people. No monetary union in history has survived without political union and that is the direction the EU is determined to go and which the British people rejected. We saw how an unelected EU elite removed a democratically elected Italian President and what being shackled to the Euro did to the Greek economy. (Which is why I hope that Poland always retains the Złoty.)
Since 2004 a new army of almost 1 million Poles has settled in the UK, workers who have gained a reputation for their politeness and hard work ethic.
However it is essential that we all recognise that for them Brexit has become a time of great uncertainty which needs to end quickly. The British Government has proposed an agreement to protect the rights of EU and British nationals living abroad is implemented ahead of the formal negotiations, which will undoubtedly be protracted, but this has not been accepted by the EU, so the uncertainty remains.
Given our common history I would like to urge the people of Poland to request your Government to support this proposal and to also encourage the EU and Britain to agree a mutually beneficial trade deal, including a visa arrangement so more Poles in the future can work in Britain. The times and nature of the threats we are facing may have changed but I truly believe
for the British and Polish people our shared desire for our freedom has not. We are reminded of this as Polish and British families grieve side-by-side for their loved ones
so brutally murdered in Manchester last week. A free and prosperous Britain and EU is in all our interests.
Let your voice be heard by signing this petition to the President of Poland: tinyurl.com/n8yjktr