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PM Orbán On Brexit: Britons Voted To Quit EU To “Preserve Their Island” Against Mass Migration

Ferenc Sullivan 2016.06.24.

British voters’ decision to leave the European Union has to be respected because all nations have the right to make decisions on their own fate, the Hungarian Prime Minister said in a radio interview on Friday morning, arguing that the biggest lesson to be learnt from the referendum is that Brussels must hear the voice of the people.

Commenting on the British electorate’s decision to back Brexit by a 52-48 margin on state broadcaster Kossuth Rádió, the Hungarian leader said that analysis has to be carried out on the defining issues in the debate on EU membership. In Mr. Orbán’s opinion, the question of immigration was in the focus of debate; Britons were seeking an answer on how to resist the “modern-age Great Migration of peoples”, keep their lives in their own hands and “preserve their island”, he said, pointing out that it appears that Britons were unsatisfied with the politics and protection offered by the European Union in this situation.

Mr. Orbán also stressed that Hungary is a member of the European Union because “we believe in a strong Europe”. However, “Europe is strong only if it can give answers to questions of immense significance, such as immigration, that strengthen instead of weaken itself. These answers were not given by the EU, in fact, it gave answers to the opposite effect, he said.

European Union member states’ Prime Ministers will now engage in continuous dialogue concerning the situation that has evolved and there will be a separate round of discussions with fellow Visegrád Group leaders via telephone, Mr. Orbán said.

As the campaign came to a close, the Hungarian government published a full-page advert in the Daily Mail, a major UK newspaper, urging voters to support the country’s membership in the community.

photo: Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI