Talks over conditions attached to Brexit should not be punitive but pragmatic, and Britain can count on Hungary’s support in reaching an acceptable deal, a government official said in London. After meeting officials from the UK’s Foreign Office, trade ministry as well as the CBI and IoD business lobbies, László Szabó, parliamentary state secretary for foreign affairs, told journalists that the EU should not try to punish Britain but instead create an environment in which member states want to remain because they see the bloc’s value. Hungary wants the Brexit talks to be fair and transparent, he said.
Asked about the future prospects of Hungarian citizens living in the UK, Szabó said that in the course of his talks, representatives of business and politicians alike said they could not imagine how Britain would stay functional without workers from central and eastern Europe. The UK jobless rate is rather low and it is clear that if suddenly there were to be an exodus of workers, the country would be in trouble. British officials understand this, he added. He said Hungary was not actively encouraging British companies to leave the UK to relocate to Hungary, but if they wanted to move elsewhere then they should know that Hungary would provide an “ideal operating” environment.