Ahead of Thursday’s referendum in the UK on whether Britain should exit the European Union (“Brexit”), the Hungarian government has run an ad in the British press expressing its desire that Britain remain.
“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,” reads the ad, released today in British daily The Daily Mail. The government had planned to release the ads on Saturday, but chose to hold off until today in light of the murder of Labour Party MP Jo Cox, who was killed by an extreme-right nationalist last week.
Hungary firmly believes in the importance of the European Union’s achievements, even if in many cases it envisions the future of the continent differently, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács told state news agency MTI. He added that Great Britain is the second-largest EU economy, and the fifth largest in the world, and that a strong Europe can only be achieved with the cooperation of its large states, reports Index.hu.
Other members of the Hungarian government have weighed in on Brexit ahead of the referendum. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told MTI that it is in the interest of all Hungarians that the UK remain in the union. In addition to economic reasons, Szijjártó said that Hungary and Britain share certain political perspectives, including the need for strengthening the powers of national parliaments within Europe. He argued that recent crises hitting the union prove that “the ability to make important decisions in a short time is basically at the national level”.
Prime Minister Orbán’s chief of staff Antal Rogán also spoke out in support of Britain remaining in the union to his German counterparts.
Polling in Britain has showed a very narrow race between the “Leave” and “Remain” campaigns. The most recent numbers show that since the murder of MP Jo Cox, the Remain campaign has received a surge of support.