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Fine Gael MEP calls for EU to suspend its funding for Poland

Fears of a ‘Polexit’ have grown after Poland’s constitutional tribunal found that EU treaties were incompatible with Poland’s national constitution.

The EU should suspend its funding to Poland until it addresses its rule of law issues, according to a Fine Gael MEP.

Sean Kelly said Poland needs to get its house in order before it’s given EU funds.

His comments followed a fiery debate in the Parliament this morning when the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, accused the EU of “blackmail”, as he was also roundly criticised by MEPs for what they see as the erosion of fundamental rights and judicial independence in his country. 

The row is considered to be a threat to the cohesion of the 27-nation bloc by both Brussels and Warsaw. 

Earlier this month, Poland’s constitutional tribunal found that EU treaties were incompatible with Poland’s national constitution. 

Sean Kelly said he believes the bloc “has to” hit Poland with sanctions for its actions. 

“The rule of law underpins everything. If you have a member state that’s breaching it, that’s influencing the judiciary, appointing their own judges, ask them to give decisions that suits them – that is just not acceptable,” he told Strasbourg-based media outlet EuroParl Radio. 

There have been calls to use the €24 billion Poland is due to get from the Recovery and Resilience Fund as a bargaining chip in the dispute.

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The Ireland South MEP said the suspension of funds would send the message that a country can benefit from its membership “only when you comply with the European treaties the same as every other member state”. 

This would “put it back to the Polish people, because they would know” that the EU is saying that there are stipulations when your country is a member, Kelly went on. 

“If you take money from the bank then you have to pay the interest rate, you can’t change it. So it’s the same here,” he said, pointing to Poland’s membership of the single market as another benefit it has enjoyed. 

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