Hungary’s aim is to ensure that the rights of Hungarians living in the UK are not hurt after Britain exits the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after talks with British counterpart Theresa May in Downing Street.
On Wednesday evening after the meeting Orbán told Hungarian journalists in London that they had agreed that the issue of workers’ rights must be settled on the basis of the “principle of reciprocity.” This means that if there is no curtailment of the rights acquired by British citizens residing in Europe, the position of the British government is that naturally neither can there be curtailment of the rights of EU nationals working in Britain, he explained. Viktor Orbán stated that this was an important outcome of his meeting with the British prime minister. He added that there are some one hundred and fifty thousand Hungarian citizens earning a living through jobs linked to Britain – either working in Britain, or as the employees of British-owned businesses operating in Hungary. “They have interests which we must protect. So it is in our interest that the trade aspect of British-Hungarian relations should continue to be open and free in the future”, the Hungarian Prime Minister said.
On behalf of British Premier Theresa May, a Downing Street spokesperson commented on the meeting: “This afternoon the Prime Minister welcomed Prime Minister Orbán of Hungary to Downing Street for a bilateral meeting. “The Prime Minister reiterated that the UK intends to trigger Article 50 by the end of March and that we will play a full and active role in the EU until we leave. “The leaders noted the strength of the bilateral relationship between the UK and Hungary, and that this would continue once the UK had left the EU. “They discussed the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and the Prime Minister reaffirmed that she wants and expects to protect the status of EU nationals, but that British citizens’ rights in European member states must be protected in return. “On migration the Prime Minister laid out her position that we should ensure that refugees are hosted in the first safe country of transit; that we distinguish between refugees and economic migrants; and that all states have the rights and responsibilities to control their borders and accept returned illegal migrants.”
During his one-day official visit to London, Viktor Orbán also commented on Donald Trump’s US elections victory: “The world has always benefited whenever it has managed to release itself from the captivity of currently dominant ideological trends”, he told reporters. “In my view, this is what has happened just now in the United States. This also gives the rest of the Western world the chance to free itself from the captivity of ideologies, of political correctness, and of modes of thought and expression which are remote from reality: the chance to come back down to earth and see the world as it really is”, the Hungarian Prime Minister said.
via MTI, kormany.hu and politico.eu; photos: Balázs Szecsődi – kormany.hu