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Jun 28, 2016

Brussels' immigration policy is destroying Europe

According to the minster of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brussels’ immigration policy is endangering the unity of Europe and must be discarded for good

Péter Szijjártó , minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has said that “Brussels’ immigration policy is endangering the unity of Europe and accordingly must be discarded for good”, following Monday’s meeting of the Visegrád Group (V4), German and French foreign ministers in Prague.

“Hungary believes there are five main tasks and four important lessons to be learned following last Thursday’s British referendum in which the British people voted to leave the European Union," he added.

As “perhaps the most important lesson," Szijjártó said “we must finally do away with Brussels’ immigration policy”.

As a further lesson to be learned from the Brexit referendum, Szijjártó cited the fact that “European politics cannot be conducted in a way that disregards the opinion of the people of Europe”, and that “Europeans want to decide for themselves about their lives and futures”.

“The British referendum has clearly shown that the people of Europe are not prepared to accept that decisions on the future of Europe, including on such important issues as who the people of Europe will have to live with, are made somewhere in Brussels in private and behind closed doors by European bureaucrats," the minister pointed out. The fourth conclusion is that “we need sincere politics in Europe instead of hypocrisy; we must call a spade a spade and provide real solutions to real issues," he added.

The first of Europe’s five tasks is that Europe should stop criticising the British, “because the British people have a right to decide what future they want for Great Britain and their decision must be respected”.

The second task is that Europe must recognise that the EU’s second strongest economy has voted to exit the organization, and instead of blaming the British, Europe must examine what needs to be changed in Brussels and within the EU.

The third important task is that Europe must stop the hysteria. We must follow regulations, and according to the rules it is a Member State’s duty to announce its intention to exit. “It is not right to put the British under pressure; it is not right to rush the British. The British have the right to decide when they announce their intention to leave the EU," Szijjártó noted.

With regard to the fourth task, Szijjártó explained that the exit is not a bureaucratic procedure but a political one. “To us, the content of the negotiations and the result that is put forward for adoption following the negotiations is much more important than the issue of when negotiations will begin. In our view, we should not push for the commencement of negotiations until we are clear on what the Member States of the European Union want to achieve at the end of the exit negotiations," the minster said.

As the fifth point, Szijjártó declared that “we Hungarians and Central Europeans will have major interests at stake during the course of negotiations, which we would like to enforce” and we want “the Hungarian and Central European standpoint to also appear in the European Union’s final negotiation mandate”. He cited as an example the fact that “hundreds of thousands of people from Central European countries are working in Great Britain, and accordingly it is important what agreement the parties can come to and what regulations will apply to Central European citizens”.

Szijjártó said that the EU “is treading unknown ground with respect to the fact that there has never before been an exit or exit negotiations, so the framework for the procedure is somewhat uncertain”. According to Szijjártó it is extremely important that as many consultations as possible take place with and between Member States, and this is one of the reasons why Hungary welcomes the Czech Republic’s decision to call a meeting and hold negotiations in Prague.

The people of Europe are not prepared to accept the fact that Brussels bureaucrats should decide the future of Europe

“Great Britain’s departure will not stop the development of the European Union," Szijjártó concluded.