UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is one of the bravest European politicians, said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, adding that the European Union should be interested in strong relations with the United Kingdom after the country leaves the bloc. Orban, who has been a strong critic of Brussels, in particular its handling of Europe's refugee crisis, said the European Union had "misunderstood" the situation when it came to the conclusion that having good bilateral ties after Brexit was mainly in the interest of London. Orban said that having strong cooperation was in the interest of both sides.
His statement came after EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier claimed that a comprehensive agreement on cooperation with Britain after Brexit would take longer than the current transition period, which starts on 31 January.
"I believe a generous and strategic cooperation is needed with the British in the coming period when they are no longer members of the EU", Orban told a news conference.
Orban said that the UK’s future would be successful when he was asked to comment on the prospects of the country once it leaves the European Union. The right-wing politician said that London’s decision to withdraw from the bloc had opened a “fantastic opportunity". "I am sure there is a success story in the making there", Orban said.
Despite his harsh criticism of Brussels’ policies and his support of Brexit, Orban never suggested that Hungary might follow London’s suit, and in October of 2019, he said that Budapest would remain in the EU, but noted that the eastern and western members of the European Union need to find a compromise on the bloc’s future.