The withdrawal of Britain is a political and economic loss for the EU, and the task is to minimize the resulting damage – said Szabolcs Takács, State Secretary for EU Affairs on Friday in Budapest.
The Secretary of State stressed that the United Kingdom and the EU have a common interest in reassuring people, citizens of the United Kingdom living in Britain and the citizens of the EU Member States, after the “Brex and Brexit: Future of the European Union” at the European Pontic Roundtable . It is also their mutual interest to develop closer cooperation in the economy and trade, as well as in defense and security policy, “he said.
Szabolcs Takács explained that while important and the future is largely determined by the agreement on Brexit in the coming months, a debate on how the future of European integration will continue and the legal and political framework for which Member States will continue. This issue can not be completely separated from Brexit since the British referendum was the “last drop in the cup”, which prompted the leaders of EU Member States and institutions to start a “self-reflection process”. It’s about what’s “misleading,” what to change and what to keep, “he explained.
The weight and responsibility of these issues is such a burden on governments, which justifies all debates being fundamentally based on the guidance of the European Council.
The Secretary of State underlined that the Hungarian Government is of the opinion that the results must be preserved which have created the integration that has become the “success story of the world” for decades and which has led most Member States to join. He sees this as a single internal market, and it must be ensured that freedom of movement and the functioning of the Schengen system are without compromise. It also has to maintain policies that have succeeded in integration, such as cohesion policy and enlargement policy – he added.
Szabolcs Takács said: The Hungarian government wants a Europe that can effectively respond to the challenges.
British Ambassador to Budapest Iain Lindsay stressed: Britain wants to strengthen its bilateral relations with EU Member States, including Hungary. The Hungarian and British governments are committed to closer co-operation, he said.
At the event organized by the European Parliament’s Information Office, the diplomat recalled that the British government issued a number of documents about its ideas about Brexel, including how to imagine how to shape relations with the EU. He sees that both sides are committed to cooperation, for an agreement that is also in line with EU citizens and British citizens.
The ambassador said that many Hungarians are living in Great Britain, they are obviously worried about what is happening after the country leaves the union. Great Britain seeks to reassure people, she said. He added: Britain also assures EU Member States to meet their financial obligations.
Iain Lindsay emphasized that they did not want to use an existing model for relations with the EU, but to create a new model that would suit everyone and benefit all parties. Britain is an important partner for the EU, the country is committed to cooperation, he said.
At a meeting attended by several members of the diplomatic corps, Gypsy Schöpflin, a Fidesz MEP, spoke of the fragile balance in Britain recently overturned by the referendum on Brexit. Globalization has significantly altered the world, and the referendum has also highlighted the great inequalities that have come about, but this is not just in Britain but in every country, “he said.