Poland reacts to Brexit

Although late polls suggested a win of the “remain” vote, the world woke on Friday to the news that the British had voted in favour of leaving the European Union. As Europe stands in shock, markets plummet down.

This event is unprecedented, so it may be difficult to predict what consequences it will bring to the European and Polish economy and the huge Polish diaspora in the British Isles.

On Warsaw Stock Exchange all indices went heavily into the red, just as other markets in Europe. Right after the opening, the WIG20 index plunged 10 percent and the WIG index 8 percent. It appears the banking sector has been hit the most.

Meanwhile, Polish Minister of Development remains calm. He told journalists the reaction in Poland is not that volatile and that Polish markets have taken the news fairly well. There are no dramatic changes to the prices of state bonds or Polish currency.

The President of Poland is wary of the domino effect and called for unity and integrity. He noted that Brexit is sad news. At the same time, he expressed a view that calling the referendum was a very bold decision. EU’s task is to prevent such events in the future.

Polish Prime Minister said the government respect the decision the Brits had made. She called for further EU reforms, reforms towards a stronger European Community. She declared that the Polish government will present its own reform proposals. “We cannot pretend there is no crisis in the EU” – she said.

Witold Błaszczykowski, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, called Brexit bad news for Europe and for Poland. At the same time, he predicts that the leave process will take several years.

Former President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, hit on much more dramatic notes, saying that the vote is the end to Great Britain. In his view, it was negative propaganda that won, while the pro-remain activists were too passive. “Cameron (…) made a terrible decision” – he said.

Brexit is very likely to negatively affect the people who have mortgage in Swiss currency. The fluctuating price of CHF means Polish homeowners will have to pay back more money.

The big question is what will happen to the thousands of Polish people who live in the United Kingdom. Those who applied for British residency or citizenship do not need to worry, but there are many unregistered immigrants whose faith is uncertain. Will they have to come back to Poland?