Poles have been told to ‘seriously consider’ returning to their homeland after Brexit in an open letter from the Polish ambassador to the UK.
Arkady Rzegocki, who has represented Warsaw in the UK since 2016, wrote that Poland ‘regrets’ Britain’s upcoming departure from the EU.
He stated that a mere 27 per cent of Poles had submitted an application for settled status in the UK, describing it as an ‘alarmingly low level’.
Mr Rzegocki said: ‘I also encourage you to seriously consider the possibility of returning to your homeland.
‘The rapidly growing economy of our country creates more and more opportunities for citizens for development and good living conditions in the country.
‘Soon, Great Britain, which has been home to thousands of Poles for generations, will most likely cease to be a member of the European Union – which we regret, but we also see this process as an opportunity to strengthen the bond between our two countries.’
Data from the Office of National Statistics suggests around 832,000 people born in Poland were resident in the UK in 2018, making it the joint-highest overseas born population with India.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Mr Rzegocki stated that Poland and the Polish economy are both ‘growing’.
He continued: ‘Life standards are improving – they are much different compared to five to ten years ago.
‘I think it is a very good opportunity to come back to Poland. I think you can achieve your goals in both Britain and Poland.’
The ambassador said he believes most Poles who want to apply to the settled-status scheme will have done so already, although there is still time left to do so.
But when questioned on how many Poles may choose to go back, he said: ‘It is difficult to predict. Last year 116,000 left the country.
‘There are still about a million here but you can see there is a discussion being had.
‘We are doing the best to keep our relationship as close as possible as there is a long friendship between our countries.’
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