OREANDA-NEWS. Brexit follows from the problems of the European Union (EU), and it was not provoked by Britain’s policy, but is a consequence of the British people’s decision that follows from the operation and general state of the EU, János Lázár, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at a conference on Thursday.

Mr Lázár pointed out at the 18th Financial Summit organised by HBLF (Hungarian Business Leaders Forum): European leaders must accept the British people’s decision which will cause Europe far more pain than Britain. The Hungarian Government believes that Britain will be able to retain its position as a global power even during the transitional period, he said. He drew attention to the fact that no economic panic erupted in Britain, the economy did not collapse, and neither did the realm of politics. In his view, not a single democratically inclined politician can call the meaning or legitimacy of the referendum into question; “the people’s word is sacred”.

The European Commission has “slipped out” of the control of European electors, and neither the European Council, nor the European Parliament are able to exert genuine control over its operation. A process started where European bureaucracy adopts decisions in the form of legal acts without any kind of democratic legitimacy and control; decisions which no one asked them or authorised them to adopt, and on which no one is able to call them to account, he said.

Mr Lázár believes that the EU has not resolved its problems in the past ten years, is going through an era of uncertainty, is struggling with immigration, terrorism and economic decline, and has been unable to give innovative responses to the challenges it has faced. In his words, this „agony” has been ongoing for ten years, there is no clear direction, governance is slow, and the EU is unable to react to the nation state challenges in a timely manner.

He pointed out: the world’s economic growth is more intensive than that of Europe, and the EU’s economic competitiveness has significantly diminished in the past ten years. Meanwhile, the growth of Eastern-Europe is more dynamic than that of the western countries. While the EU accounted for 30 per cent of the world’s GDP in 2004, this fell to just 22.5 per cent in 2015 which is a spectacular decline.

The exiting Britain occupies a prominent position in the world competitiveness rankings, and has less reason for concern than the EU. He confirmed that Hungary does not wish to leave the EU, and does not support the idea that the Commission should punish the Brits for their decision to leave.

He highlighted that Britain is one of the world’s most successful countries: the country of 65 million is a member of the G7, based on its GDP per capita, it is among the largest economies in the EU, Britain is the world’s 5th largest importer, and they will be able to retain their dominant economic role as well as their position as a global power. Britain will be Hungary’s largest export partner outside the EU following its exit from the EU, and the bilateral relations of the two countries will have to be reinforced, Mr Lázár stated.

Minister of State for Trade Policy Mike Price stressed that Britain is not leaving Europe: it will be a guardian of free trade, and will continue to maintain its independent relations with Europe, and the other parts of the world as well. He highlighted: it is their duty to act in accordance with the decision of the British people, and to conduct the country’s exit from the European Union in a professional manner. Two new departments have been set up: one is responsible for the exit negotiations, the other one for international trade, he said.