Below is the letter which Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, sent yesterday to the President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, urging him to "be a friend to the British people" and withhold his signature from the Lisbon Treaty until a Conservative Government is elected and has the opportunity to hold a referendum on the matter.
Dear President Kaczyński,
I write to you to acknowledge Britain’s debt of gratitude to the Polish people and to ask you for assistance.
The history of Polish heroism and support for the British people is long and glorious. During our darkest hours in World War Two, when the Battle of Britain hung in the balance, the contribution of Polish airmen helped tip the balance in the Allies’ favour. Eight Polish fighter squadrons formed within the RAF shot down 629 Axis aircraft by May 1945, with the Polish 303 Fighter Squadron claiming more kills than any other squadron during the war.
Winston Churchill, as ever, expressed this debt most compellingly, when he said of the Battle of Britain that, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
As we commemorate the Normandy landings on their 65th anniversary, we in Britain should remember that Poles fought there with us, as your countrymen did in so many theatres of operation. Often forgotten are the less publicised contributions, of Polish spies who are estimated to have contributed as much as 45 per cent of all intelligence reports from continental Europe, and Polish cryptographers, who, in helping to break the Enigma code, assisted in one of the key turning points in the war.
And in recent years Polish immigrants to Britain have contributed far more to the British economy and society than they could ever take out.
Once again, Mr President, we must turn to you in an hour of need. In 2005, all three main political parties promised the British people that they would be given a referendum on the EU Constitution. The Conservatives are the only major party to have kept this promise. Despite Tony Blair’s protestations that “what you can’t do is have a situation where you get a rejection of the Treaty and then you just bring it back with a few amendments and say we will have another go”, Gordon Brown has done just that.
The Irish people’s rejection of the EU Treaty in their referendum last year should have been the end of the Lisbon Treaty. The Republic of Ireland was the only country in Europe which had the opportunity to voice its democratic opinion, and the Irish people made it clear that they did not want a Treaty that transfers so many powers to Brussels.
At the time, the British Government faced a very clear choice. They could have done the difficult and brave thing and declared the Treaty dead, or they could have done the easy thing and joined others in starting the process of bullying the Irish people into a second referendum. Unfortunately, by pushing the Treaty through Parliament, they made the latter choice.
All 27 Member States must ratify the Lisbon Treaty for it to be enacted, however, so as long as you have not signed the Lisbon Treaty it cannot come into force. If this is the case at the time of the next general election, which is now at most a year away, and if a Conservative Government is elected, Conservatives will suspend Britain’s ratification of the Treaty and hold a referendum, recommending rejection of the Treaty. If the British people reject the Treaty, we will withdraw Britain’s ratification.
Although this is a very different fight for democracy, the EU needs to acknowledge that political institutions cannot be built in a democracy without popular consent. That democratic consent to the Lisbon Treaty has neither been sought from nor given by the British people. Poland can once again be a friend to the British people. Mr President, we need your help!
Daniel Kawczynski MP
HOUSE OF COMMONS