The UK has not only noticed but expressed appreciation for Hungary’s approach towards certain positions on Brexit, the Hungarian ambassador to the UK said in an interview with daily Magyar Nemzet on Thursday.
Right from the start, Hungary rejected a way of thinking about Brexit which involved efforts by some “to teach the UK a lesson” because of their decision to exit the European Union, Ferenc Kumin said.
Hungary tried to exert influence to prevent that this way of thinking should become prevalent when EU decisions were made about Brexit, he said. UK-Hungary relations in the post-Brexit period are characterised by this positive atmosphere, Kumin said.
“We are looking forward to a much more fruitful period of more extensive cooperation because in 2021 there are more things that connect us than at any point in the past one hundred years,” he added.
The value of Hungary as a target for investment has increased after Brexit, which is already reflected in investors’ decisions, he said.
“We know of several British companies that plan to enter or expand in Hungary and talks are in an advanced stage,” Kumin said.
Commenting on existing educational programmes and scientific cooperation organised in the EU framework, he said these would be replaced by bilateral agreements. Negotiations have already suggested that British universities need the foreign students and extra income lost because of Brexit, he added. “We have learnt by now that we need not worry about the brain-drain as much as we did in the 2000s,” he said.
“We know that there will be some people we lose but those that return to Hungary with the knowledge they acquired will have acquired skills and a network of relations that will compensate for any potential loss,” he added.
Kumin also said that the embassy’s work will also involve addressing “biased criticism of Hungarian government decisions based on inaccurate information”.
featured image: Ferenc Kumin; by Szilárd Koszticsák