Zeman: Brexit is a disaster for the EU as well as Britain

The departure of Great Britain from the European Union means a 15 percent decrease in the Czech budget, said President Miloš Zeman after a meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

Brexit is a disaster for both the UK and the EU. Zeman pointed out that Great Britain is a significant net payer, so Brexit will definitely influence the Czech state budget. However, he does not believe that the referendum should be repeated. His Croatian counterpart shares a similar view and hopes that the departure of the UK will be regulated in some way.

If the UK Parliament actually agrees on some kind of Brexit deal, the UK may leave the EU before the scheduled date of October 31st. Theresa May did not rule out the possibility that the UK would leave even sooner, before the EP elections. However, the issue of the EP elections is what concerns Grabar-Kitarović. In her opinion, the whole Brexit negotiations can be affected by that, although she did not specify in which way. Nevertheless, Croatia will continue to cooperate with the UK. Grabar-Kitarović hopes that in the case of Brexit, the effects on the economy and investments will not be too extensive.

The two presidents also talked about their countries´ relations with China. They agreed these relations should be based on equality and mutual benefits.

"Neither party is interested in sharing some kind of “spy-mania” or hysteria, which is manifested, for example, in the case of the tech firm Huawei," said Zeman, who is planning his sixth visit to China at the end of April.

This week, a two-day summit of Central and Eastern European countries and China takes place in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović confirmed that Croatia has already signed several agreements with China during the summit. These agreements will allow closer economic cooperation, including opening the Chinese market to Croatian products.

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