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Oct 04, 2019

FM: Rights of Hungarians living in the UK must be upheld

The Foreign Minister has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s work to fulfil the will of the British people expressed in the Brexit referendum should command respect rather than resulting in attacks.

The Foreign Minister has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s work to fulfil the will of the British people expressed in the Brexit referendum should command respect rather than resulting in attacks.

Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, called the “attacks” levelled at Johnson by the international media “unjust”.

According to MTI, the Minister said Hungary’s interest is to eliminate all factors that might stand in the way of further cooperation. “We have seen the challenges that the European media’s pressure on the US president have created in European-US relations,” he said, adding: “It would be good to avoid that this time.”

Referring to British press speculation that Johnson had asked certain EU countries, including Hungary, to veto any extension to the Brexit deadline, Minister Szijjártó said: “We have read the rumors about this but the Hungarian government has not been approached with such a request.”

Minister Szijjártó said he had met more than thirty company heads during his visit to London, and, based on the talks, “we can safely say that British investors are very satisfied with the investment environment in Hungary”. He added that they appreciated one of the lowest corporate taxes in Europe and policies that cut red tape and promote investment.

Concerning the rights of Hungarians living in the UK, the Minister said they must not be infringed after Brexit. Hungary’s aim is to maintain an earlier agreement which states that, regardless of the form of Brexit, citizens’ rights must be mutually guaranteed regardless of whether they live in the EU or in the UK. “We have done our homework because we approved a package of laws this year that guarantees the rights of Brits living in Hungary regardless of the outcome of the Brexit process,” Minister Szijjártó said.

The UK government has decided that all EU citizens who live legally and permanently in the UK can stay in the country after Brexit and maintain their extant rights, but they must apply to the British Home Office in order to receive permanent resident status. According to latest ministry figures, over 1.5 million people have applied for permanent residence, almost 40,000 of them Hungarian.

In London, Minister Szijjártó had talks with Dominic Raab, the foreign minister, and Steve Barclay, the minister overseeing Brexit.

Photo: skynews