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Oct 15, 2018

FM: The EC must make every effort to reach an agreement on Brexit

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Britain’s exit from the European Union spells bad news for the bloc

The foreign minister has highlighted that Central European countries expect the European Commission and other relevant EU institutions to make every effort to reach an agreement on Brexit.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Britain’s exit from the European Union spells bad news for the bloc.

The remarks follow a meeting the minister attended with British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt and representatives of the Visegrad countries, as well as Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania in Chevening, south-east England.

According to MTI, Minister Szijjártó said the CEE region expects the EU to reach a Brexit deal which both sides can acknowledge as fair. Failure to reach such an agreement would seriously undermine the interests of Central Europe, he said, adding that the region’s trade volume with Britain is massive, while British investments in the region’s economies are intensive.

The foreign minister added that millions of central Europeans study in Britain, and their rights must be guaranteed. He branded the performance of the European Commission over the past four and a half years as “scandalous”, insisting that it had caused the EU “very serious damage”.

Minister Szijjártó said a once stable transatlantic relationship had become fragile. He added that the inability to respond to the migration crisis had been corrosive. Next year, he said, for the first time in the EU’s history, there will be a decrease in the number of member states.

The minister reaffirmed that Central Europeans have a clear interest in Brexit talks concluding with the deepest, most comprehensive and broadest possible free trade agreement. Otherwise EU trade in the UK will continue with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, creating “extremely serious difficulties”, he added.