“According to Hungary’s clear position, a fair agreement must be reached with London at the negotiations on the conditions of Britain’s exit from the European Union, that on the one hand assures that Europe’s competitiveness does not worsen further, and also that the continent’s security remains intact”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in London.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and TradeThe Hungarian Foreign Minister held talks with British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis at Lancaster House, near Buckingham Palace.

“Europe is currently facing extraordinary security challenges; the threat posed by mass migration and terrorism has never been so high since the end of the Cold War”, Mr. Szijjártó told Hungarian news agency MTI following the meeting.

According to the Minister, for this reason it would be irresponsible to exclude Great Britain from guaranteeing European security.

The global coalition to combat the Islamic State jihadist organisation has achieved major successes, and the terrorist organisation has lost 98 percent of the territories previously under its control. As a result, however, they want to send back their former foreign fighters to the countries of Europe, and preventing this requires an extremely high level of coordination between European intelligence and secret services. It is clear that ignoring the capacities of British intelligence services “would not only be a huge luxury, but would also be extremely irresponsible” on the part of the European Union, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in his statement to the press following the talks.

“If the British are left out of European defence policy, a lack of capacity and operational difficulties would appear with relation to the realisation of EU missions in neuralgic places such as the Mediterranean and the Balkans, and both of these regions are critically important from Hungary’s perspective”, he added.

Accordingly, Hungary is calling for the agreement reached at the close of the Brexit negotiations to state: Great Britain will continue to maintain an extremely close level of cooperation with the European Union with relation to security and defence policy.

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and TradeAccording to Mr. Szijjártó, within the field of the economy the EU has an interest in concluding the closest, deepest and most wide-ranging possible free trade agreement with the UK in view of the fact that Great Britain currently provides 14 percent of the EU’s economic performance, and it would obviously cause major economic damage to Europe, in addition to possibly leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, if trade between the EU and Great Britain became burdened with customs duties and similar restrictions.

Hungary would regard it as wrong if the negotiating parties were to approach the free trade agreement between Great Britain and the European Union “not exclusively on an economic basis”, meaning if political perspectives were to be given a role with relation to the economic issues included in the Brexit negotiations instead of purely economic rationality, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said.

“Great Britain is the sixth largest investor in the Hungarian economy and Hungary’s 11th most important trade partner; bilateral trade flow between the two countries exceeds five billion euros. Accordingly, it is in Hungary’s interests for the Brexit negotiations to come to a close with cooperation agreements concerning both the economy and security”, Mr. Szijjártó stressed in his statement in London on Thursday.