According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, it is obvious that an agreement must be reached on the system of conditions for the termination of the United Kingdom’s EU membership (Brexit), because failure to come to an agreement would cause major damage to the remaining European Union in view of the fact that the United Kingdom is the EU’s second largest economy and the world’s fifth largest.

In a statement to BBC News on Thursday evening at the site of the EU summit in Brussels, Mr. Szijjártó declared: “From the perspective of security cooperation between the United Kingdom and the European Union, as well as with relation to the current security challenges that the EU is facing, it would be ‘very bad news’ if we failed to come to an agreement”. “For this very reason, everything possible must be done in the interests of a successful close to the Brexit negotiations”, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó said he doesn’t like using terms like “hard” or “soft” Brexit. “Hungary would like a fair Brexit agreement that is mutually advantageous to both the United Kingdom and the European Union, in addition to which it would also like the deepest and most comprehensive free trade agreement possible to come about between London and the EU”, he stated.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, if such an agreement is not concluded then the regulations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will come into force with relation to bilateral trade between the United Kingdom and the EU, and “we can imagine what an affect this would have on both parties”.

In reply to a question on Hungarian-Russian economic relations, Mr. Szijjártó declared. “A significant level of hypocrisy can be seen with relation to this in Western Europe in view of the fact that there is a major battle of words going on above the surface; the Western Europeans are criticising Russia, while behind the scenes there are extremely important business and primarily energy agreements”. “The North Stream 2 gas pipeline project is also being realised with the participation of the largest Western European energy companies, not Central European ones, the star guest at the international business forum in St. Petersburg was French President Emmanuel Macron, and at the recent International Energy Week in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin shared the podium with the CEOs of such companies as Enel, Total and Shell”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted.

“In the meantime, Hungary has suffered greatly as a result of the sanctions introduced against Russia, thanks to which we have lost 7 billion dollars in Russian export opportunities in recent years”, he explained. Accordingly, “we are a little jealous at the close cooperation that Western Europe is maintaining with Russia with relation to business deals”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)