Rachael Maskell

York Central

Labour

AQA has taken a unilateral decision to scrap the A-level in Polish from 2018. Are you going to lobby the AQA to reverse their decision? If yes, are there any other actions which you would undertake in order to preserve the Polish A-level?

I have written to AQA to raise your concerns about abolishing the Polish A – Level and will contact you again when I receive a response.

Poland was the most loyal ally of Britain in the Second World War and the Polish army contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Would you therefore challenge some of the British media falsely labelling the German concentration and death camps as being “Polish” e.g. Polish ghetto, death camps of Poland, or, Poland’s Auschwitz?

I understand your concerns that sometimes the Polish nation is depicted, in the media, as being complicit with the horrors of the German concentration camps. While there may have been individuals who were aware of those atrocities the majority of Polish people suffered terribly under the Nazi regime and millions of citizens died under the regime. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who fought for our freedom, including those from Poland and other allied nation, during the Second World War, and we should never forget their brave and heroic actions. I totally agree that media should be more sensitive in the way they handle and present such issues and I will continue to challenge this.

Do you support promoting information about the positive contribution of Polish immigrants to the economy of the UK?

I believe that immigrants from all over the world make a positive contribution not just to the economy but to our way of life. British culture is enriched because we are a multicultural country and I am proud of this heritage. It is something we should celebrate. I have always challenged negative propaganda and views about nationality and immigration and this is something we all should do. We are all responsible for promoting positive attitudes towards the thousands of immigrants, from not only Poland, but also many other countries, who make our country so special.

In the event of Brexit, would you support granting an unconditional Indefinite Leave To Remain to the EU citizens who have lived and worked in Britain under the freedom of movement rules?

 

I am sorry but I do not know how people from other EU countries who are living in the UK would be affected if Britain were to leave the European Union. Although the government has said there will be a referendum in 2017 I do not know how they would deal with a public vote to exit the EU or the timescale involved. There are many benefits to being in the EU including freedom of movement and fundamental rights. I intend to make sure the positive sides of the argument are heard before a vote is taken. However whatever happens I will continue to work hard to support all of my constituents, wherever they were born, and if people are being forced to leave their homes I will make the strongest representations in Westminster and elsewhere to make sure their case is dealt with fairly and their rights are not infringed.

Would you consider joining the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland and finding out about its activities and initiatives?

As a new MP I am reluctant to joint too many groups and committees at once, as I would not have the time to commit fully to them.


Questions were sent out after the elections.