Brexit: a Hungarian point of view

drapeau hongrie“The decision is yours, but I would like you to know that Hungary is proud to stand with you as a member of the European Union.” These were the words of Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán Viktor published in the British newspaper ‘The Daily Mail’ before the referendum. The utterance of Orbán Viktor reflects the general opinion of the Hungarian society; according to surveys, the majority (60%) of Hungarian citizens don’t support the Brexit. Although, Hungary is well-known as a country that always criticizes the decisions of the European Union (for example during the refugee crisis), Prime Minister Orbán claimed that there would not be a referendum about the EU membership of Hungary. How could this contradiction be explained?

First of all, there is a very important reason why the Hungarian government is not satisfied with the UK’s decision. Many Hungarian citizens work in the UK, as three of the five cities with the most Hungarians are in Great Britain (Bristol, Manchester, London). Although, according to news, EU citizens will be allowed to work in the UK under the same conditions as before (and vice-versa), even after the Brexit.

Survey: Is Brexit a good decision for Hungary? (Green: Yes; Red: No; Grey: Does not know)

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Secondly, Hungary has lost one of his allies in the EU because both Cameron and Orbán were the most EU-skeptics Prime Ministers among EU leaders. Both Cameron and Orbán recognised that the EU is in a crisis, not in good working order and has to be reformed. The solution to these problems is not to leave, but to stay in and solve them from inside. That is why Hungary wants to stay in despite the fact we are not satisfied with the present EU system. But how these big problems can be solved, that is a question of the future.

– by Lorinc F.