Budapest, June 25 (MTI) – Britain’s decision to leave the European Union will weaken the bloc and Hungary would have preferred a remain vote, Parliamentary Speaker László Kövér told MTI in an interview.
Kövér noted that the UK and the Visegrad Four grouping of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia agreed on a number of issues that had come up in debates on the EU’s future.
These debates are bound to continue in the future, too, but the opponents of a federal European Union will hold less political weight without Britain, he said.
Kövér attributed the victory of the Leave camp to British people feeling that Brussels is too unpredictable and has too much power in influencing their everyday lives. He said the EU had lost credibility in the eyes of British voters with its helplessness and inability to act on the migrant crisis.
But the House speaker ruled out the possibility of Britain’s exit prompting Hungary to reconsider its own future in the bloc. “Right now I think Hungary would have a much harder time outside the European Union. It would be a lot harder to continue building a civic Hungary.”
Kövér warned, however, that if the EU does not change its policies and ends up becoming an “elite club” in which Brussels bureaucrats and the political elite of the old member states have too much control over everyone else, Hungary may find itself in a situation in which staying in the EU would be detrimental to it. “But if the EU finds a change of direction then I don’t expect this question to come up anytime soon,” he said.
On the topic of next year’s presidential election by parliament, Kövér said that as an MP he would gladly re-elect János Áder to a second term. He noted that in 2012 Ader said he would only serve one term. The House speaker added, however, that he did not think this meant that the president would refuse to stay on for another five years. Kövér said Áder deserved the respect of every Hungarian citizen for the work he has done serving his country’s interests both at home and abroad.
Regarding former green opposition LMP co-leader András Schiffer’s decision to quit politics, Kövér said the justification Schiffer had given for his resignation — that parliament’s new house rules had made lawmakers’ jobs “empty” — was a poor excuse. Kövér said Schiffer’s leaving had more to do with his own party’s failures than the house rules. “If anything, it’s the kind of intellectually depressing, empty demagogy employed by LMP and others that makes parliamentary work empty,” he said.
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