A One Day Visit to Davishire
It was the first day in September and the Prime Minister, Steve Mannion, whose job was on a slippery slope after a series of by-election defeats. The meeting was due to take place in the Prime Ministers Office in the House of Commons.
The Prime Minister was waiting at the gate of RCAF Sandford to greet the Polish President whose aircraft was on approach.
It would be an interesting meeting, only recently had Davishire and Poland come close to war.
President Kligenberg was arriving in Davishire after a thrill in the morning regarding some of the details of her power, and she had a greater understanding but was optimistic of her meeting in Davishire.
"Prime Minister Mannion I'm sure means well," President Kligenberg said to her aides.
The plane arrived, and the President walked out.
The Prime Minister approached the President,
"Good morning President, I hope you had a pleasant journey"
The pair shook hands and stepped into the blacked out landrover which was waiting for them. The car drove out of the airbase in a motorcade of 3 vehicles. There was a light police presence of 4 outriders on motorbikes and 1 armed police officer in each vehicle.
The motorcade was speeding through the streets of Sandford, driving in the bus lanes to make things faster. The normal everyday folk were shocked at the act of presidential anarchy.It was at this point as the Prime Minister was basically along with the President that he asked a question,
"President, forgive me but I have to ask the question. How close were you to declaring war?"
The Prime Minister immediately regretted asking the question but waited for an answer in a nervous way...
"I'd rather leave that situation in the past, but I was very close. More close than I would ever want to be ever again.
"If there is one thing appreciate about the people of Davishire is that they are very candid about what they are feeling. In contrast to all of these Slavs that are on your doorstep, who tend to play psychological games, it's a refreshing change.
"I am interested to hear how you are doing in your government. Have things started to stabilize?"
The Prime Minister was slightly relieved, a topic he didn't mind talking about.
"Well I am glad that you want to leave everything in the past, I would like to also.
I wish that things had started to stabilise. Parliament hasn't sat for some time as a result of the summer recess but it is going to be difficult for me to get any laws through."
The Prime Minister took a sip of water from the bottle he had,
"With an equal number of opposition MPs it will be difficult for me to pass the legislation that I want to. I want Davishire to become a republic with a fully elected lower and upper house and an elected president. However the conservatives and many independant MPs are against the idea. However that is no matter.
Have you any news on the Polish elections which are taking place?"
"Polish elections are going well. I'm currently in the lead for President, though Mrs. Gorecka is right on my tail. Luckily, the debate period starts in September, so I have an opportunity to give myself distance. It is very exciting, and the government is working to make sure elections go off without a hitch.
"We are also electing an upper house for the first time, which is exciting."
"It will be interesting to see how the debate period affects your results however overall I wish you the best of luck"
It was at this point that the car arrived at the entrance to the Houses of Parliament. The event was low key and was not officially announced so there was no flag waving and marching bands that would occur on an official visit as had occured during the recent visit by the Queen of Icholasen and the visitor from Os Corelia.
As the pair exited the car the Prime Minister gestured toward the door,
"please follow me Mr President"
Before the private meeting the Prime Minister gave the president a 15 minute private tour of the Houses of Parliament located in the Palace of Sandford.
The first room which the pair went through was the Kings Hall, famous as being the place where Royalists were executed during the Davishire civil war. Following this was the grand central lobby with the grand architecture and artwork
After the brief tour the Prime Minister escorted the President to his office. Outside the door was one police officer from the Metropolitan Police. Unarmed because of Davishires long tradition of not regularly arming police. However the security of the building was not under question considering the large armed police presence on the outside.
The pair sat around a small coffee table. A selection of drinks were available from tea to coffee water or even some whisky. The Prime Minister took the cup of tea.
"So Mr President before I start the discussions are there any points or concerns that you would like to raise with me?"
"My only point or concern is that I hope that we have an understanding which does not escalate as we did with the Arctic Ocean."
"I agree it is important that we do not go back to that situation. That can be achieved through future military cooperation."
The Prime Minister pulled out a dossier,
"Now as I am sure you are aware the winter is fast approaching and as a result our more northern Ports, Weymouth in my case and others in Poland are at risk of freezing over.
Davishire is spending ?1.5bn on purchasing new ice breakers. I am curious as to whether you see any scope in cooperating with Davishire in joining a company which we have set up to operated and maintain the ice breakers so that we can maintain access to our ports and so that trade can still take place.
"Poland would be delighted to cooperate with ice breakers, as we find it most important to get them. Gdansk, our resource port, is not only capable of being frozen in, but frozen in for miles as it is in a very deep natural harbour. It has been, until now, an ice free harbour, but we don't want to take the risk.
"We appreciate and will definitely join our colleagues in Davishire on this endeavour."
"I am glad that you are most willing to do this. Davishire has just purchased 15 massive Icebreakers which will be able to escort convoys of trade ships through the ice flows which affect the oceans in the northern areas.
The company which operates the ice breakers is called the Davishire Icebreaker Group. Currently the Government of Davishire owns a 49% share in this company. For ?50 million Poland Lithuania would be able to purchase half of that 49% so that each country holds a share of the comapny. Would your government be prepared to provide capital to invest in additional ice breakers?"
"Yes, we currently are running a budget surplus, and can budget that into our costs. That will not be an issue for the Republic.
"Again, I cannot stress how relieved I am that we are beginning to make progress in the right direction."
I too am glad that our two countries are moving forward.
Now we can both formally sign an agreement at the end of the meeting however one more concern on the Icebreakers. Considering that Davishire has the infrastructure and manpower available do you have any concerns as to the ships being based in Portland, this area does not freeze during the winter months and has good access to the sea.
Now I have 2 more issues I would like to discuss and hopefully come to an agreement on. Currently you still have your border closed and travel restrictions in place. I feel that it would be better for both our nations to allow trade to move freely through and perhaps in the future form a customs union. What do you feel are the next steps to getting these borders reopened?"
"I would like, if this is going to be a joint venture, to have icebreakers based in Portland and Gdansk, as Gdansk does not freeze over, and will provide a second point of attack.
"We will be looking into the travel ban restrictions immediately. The threat that was once there clearly is not anymore.
"Free trade and free movement is important between all nations, as well as ours and we would be more than happy to look into that for Davishire and Poland. Please explain this customs union, because I really have no precedent to understand this concept."
"I would like to see it get to a point where there are no customs tariffs between our two nations and both countries would have the same tariffs for the importation and exportation of goods from overseas. If you see what I mean.
It would also involve citizens between our two countries not having to need visas to cross the border."
"Poland will be willing to work on this frame work with the government in Davishire."
"Well I am glad to hear that. It is regretful that we are unable to continue this discussion today. I propose that we sign an agreement on the development of the Davishire IceBreaker Group. This would, upon transfer of funds transfer half of 49% share in the Davishire Ice Breaker Group to your government.
I also propose that we sign an agreement in principle to the free trade zone or customs union in the future. We can then continue discussion after the upcoming elections. DO you agree with that?"
"I can agree to free trade, but a customs union will not be a popular move in the Sejm, and I can guarantee that the Sejm will not approve a treaty with that in there. There is too much control surrendered by Poland to Davishire for its own negotiations of free trade with other nations, which could jeopardize many of our trading relationships."
"Ok, that is fine we don't want to rush anything. Perhaps then we sign an agreement to introduce open orders between Davishire and Poland which allows free trade and freedom of movement. What do you think about that one?"
"I think that would do well in the Sejm, and I can sign an agreement to pursue that policy."