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Viktor Orbán’s statement to Hungarian Television

László Mészáros: Prime Minister, you met British Prime Minister Theresa May this afternoon. What did you talk about in your meeting?

We reviewed British-Hungarian bilateral relations. There are some fifty thousand Hungarians working in British-owned businesses in Hungary and, according to figures for 2015, there are some ninety-five thousand Hungarians registered as working in the United Kingdom. So we are talking about a Hungarian community of around one hundred and fifty thousand earning their living through jobs connected to Britain in one way or another. This is a large number, and it represents a corresponding number of families. They have interests which we must protect. So on the one hand it is in our interest that the trade aspect of British-Hungarian relations also continues to be open and free in the future. This is in the best interests of the Hungarian national economy. And, on the other hand, we must ensure that the rights acquired by those who are already in Britain are not curtailed in the future. We agreed that everything must be based on reciprocity. In other words, 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. This was an important outcome of today’s meeting. We also reviewed the process of Brexit, as the British are leaving: right now they are in the process of leaving the European Union. It is still too early to talk in substance about specific issues, but in this respect the Hungarian position will also focus in essence on maintaining free trade and protecting Hungarians working here. But we shall talk in substance about these issues in the future. We also spoke about security issues, and touched on the subject of Ukraine and Russia as well.

Prime Minister, the United States is an important economic partner for Hungary. They have just elected a new president. How do you see the result of the presidential election?

I could perhaps put it most briefly by saying that the world has always benefited whenever it has managed to release itself from the captivity of ideology and the currently dominant ideological trends, and return to reality. 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. We should see the world as it really is, we should see people as they really are, we should accept their approach and way of thinking, and we should serve them with our policies.

Thank you very much, Prime Minister.