Smooth legal cooperation between Britain and Hungary is very important, regardless of the direction the process of the cessation of Britain’s EU membership (Brexit) will take, Justice Minister László Trócsányi said in London on Thursday.

During the day the Justice Minister had talks with his British counterpart David Gauke, Baroness Natalie Evans, Leader of the House of Lords, who is in that capacity a member of the British cabinet, and Bob Neill, Chair of the Justice Committee of the House of Commons and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Hungary Group.

After his talks, Mr Trócsányi told the Hungarian news agency MTI that cooperation between the two countries currently equally extends to the areas of civil law, family law, trade law and penal law. With regard to the large Hungarian community living in Britain and intensive trade and justice relations, the two countries are connected together by “a thousand ties” in these fields, he added.


The Justice Minister said in the period ahead a number of technical issues will emerge, such as the mutual recognition of degrees and qualifications. While the political declaration adopted at last week’s special EU summit outlining the main tenets for future relations between the United Kingdom and the EU does designate some directions, it contains no specific details. It was therefore important to emphasise during his talks that Hungary has a vested interest in preserving the current level of cooperation with London, and ensuring that there will be no setback in areas such as family law and penal law, Mr Trócsányi said.

He added that during his talks both British Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke and Bob Neill, Chair of the Justice Committee of the House of Commons, confirmed that the United Kingdom, too, has a vested interest in maintaining the current close relations.

He said, during his talks – in addition to direct technical issues – he also drew attention to the fact that the rights of Hungarians living in the United Kingdom cannot in any way be curtailed, as also laid down in the exit agreement adopted at the special EU summit.

Mr Trócsányi additionally spoke with the British Secretary of State for Justice about the administration of the judiciary. The Hungarian Justice Minister told his British counterpart that a separate and independent administrative court system will be created in Hungary, in the administration of which the Justice Minister will also have a role.

During the talks the parties spoke about the fact that the House of Commons will vote on the exit agreement laying down the terms and conditions of Brexit on 11 December. By Mr Trócsányi’s account, his partners informed him that if Parliament does not approve the agreement, the majority by which the agreement is rejected will be relevant. The British party believes that if the agreement is rejected with a small majority, there would be scope for the continuation of the Brexit process. However, a large majority rejection would create an uncertain situation.

In answer to the question as to whether the Hungarian government is preparing contingency plans for the event that the British Parliament should reject the exit agreement, Mr Trócsányi said Brexit is always on the agenda of the meetings of the Hungarian government concerned with EU issues, and the government is preparing to respond to unanticipated events. Background materials involving multiple scenarios are being prepared as there are minimum three to four possible solutions, and for the undesirable eventuality that the British Parliament should vote against the Brexit agreement not only Hungary but all EU Member States will have to prepare, the Justice Minister said.

He added that the Hungarian government maintains with full commitment that the protection of the situation of Hungarians living in the United Kingdom will have to be guaranteed even in the event that the exit agreement is rejected.