Ties between the United Kingdom and the European Union need to be maintained at the strategic level even after Brexit, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in London on Sunday.
The opinion on maintaining these strategic ties is shared at all levels across the EU, Szijjártó said.
“The Hungarian stand is clear: we want a fair Brexit and the broadest and most inclusive agreement on future cooperation possible,” he added.
Szijjártó is in London for a meeting with the Visegrad Group countries — Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia — as well as Croatia, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria on opportunities for cooperation with the UK after it leaves the EU. The talks were initiated by the UK’s foreign minister Boris Johnson.
Szijjarto said it is of vital importance for the EU and thus Hungary, too, for a free trade agreement to be reached between the UK and the EU. If such an agreement is not reached, World Trade Organisation rules will apply to trade between the EU and the UK, and that could mean the appearance of tariffs and tariff-like obstacles, he added.
Failure to reach a free trade agreement with the UK, which accounts for one-seventh of the EU’s economic output, would have tragic consequences, he warned.
As well as reaching a free trade agreement with the UK, the other issue of key importance for Hungary at Brexit negotiations is the protection of the rights of Hungarian nationals living in the UK, Szijjártó said.