Brussels, June 29 (MTI) – The EU’s “inappropriate” response to the migration crisis has been the main reason for the outcome of the recent UK referendum, the Hungarian prime minister said in Brussels where he attended the summit of the 27 countries remaining in the EU.
There is “no point” in pushing Britain to start the exit procedure, Viktor Orbán told a press conference on Wednesday.
He added that there should not even be any “background talks” until Britain formally announces its exit from the bloc.
Participants in the summit agreed that in return for access to the internal market of the EU, the UK will be expected to observe the principle of the free movement of goods, services, capital, and persons, Orbán said.
After the Brexit referendum “we must return to the idea that the European Union is based on members rather than on EU institutions”, Orbán said, and insisted that “democracy in the EU can only be reinforced through its members”. “The EU is not in Brussels but in twenty-seven – for the moment twenty-eight – capitals.”
Answering a question, Orbán denied allegations in the press that Hungary would seek the resignation of the head of the European Commission. It would “not be the least chivalrous” to lambast heads of the European institutions “in a situation like this”, he argued.
The meeting of the 28 EU countries’ leaders on Tuesday at which the British prime minister outlined the situation in his country was held in an atmosphere “full of emotions,” Orbán said.
Orbán warned that the EU should “make sure that issues around migration and membership are not mixed up” to avoid “serious problems”. He said it was important for the EU to come up with a migration policy which “meets the expectations of the people”.
“We must fight to prove to the people that a migration policy in line with Hungary’s national interests is possible,” Orbán said.
“This will be a long fight here in Brussels, for which we, and myself personally, will need a strong mandate, which cannot be guaranteed without a referendum,” Orbán said referring to Hungary’s upcoming vote aimed at thwarting the EU’s migrant quota scheme.
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