Budapest, June 25 (MTI) – Britain’s exit from the European Union is a major political loss but it does not put either Hungary or the EU’s economy under threat, Gergely Gulyás, deputy group leader of the ruling Fidesz party, said on Saturday.
Hungary will continue to stand by its position that it does not want to live in a “United States of Europe” but rather in a Europe of nation states, Gulyás told a press conference. The country also wants to make it clear that if the European Commission carries on with its current immigration policy, other member states may react similarly to the way the UK did, he said.
“Central and eastern European member states have so far been successful in shielding themselves from the EC’s attempts to force the settlement of migrants across the bloc,” Gulyas said.
He said holding referendums on individual issues on which member states disagree with the EC was a far more effective way for countries to express their opinions than voting on their memberships. Gulyás noted that Hungary is set to hold a referendum on the EU’s mandatory migrant quota scheme in the autumn.
If Brussels can be persuaded to change its “fundamentally flawed” plan to settle migrants in member states, European cooperation will be far more stable, he added.
Gulyás said Hungary’s economy “stands on solid foundations”. The UK makes up about 8 percent of the EU’s budget and Hungary receives only a fraction of that, he added.
He said it was important that, like outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron, “the other side” also draw the proper political conclusions from the referendum. Gulyás stressed, however, that this does not mean that Hungary is calling on European Commission and European Parliament leaders to resign. “But it is true that the EU and the EC’s policies contributed greatly to the EU becoming as unpopular as it has in Britain, and let’s be honest, in other member states, too,” he said.