Britain’s pending withdrawal from the European Union may be a great boost to the European nations who have fought the hardest against mass migration, as the departure of Britain allows the significantly more socially conservative nations to take more control in Brussels.
The attitude of Visegrad nations — the collective names for those countries which suffered under Communism and are now broadly as the most traditional nations in Europe — toward Brexit can be summed up in the remarks of Hungarian leader Viktor Orban.
Speaking as the results came in on Friday, perhaps the most vocal critic of Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis said the EU referendum had been a proxy vote on the question of mass migration, what he called the “modern-age Great Migration of peoples”.
Mr. Orban said Britain’s decision to resist this migration and to “preserve their island” had to be respected because all nations have the right to decide their own fates. Elaborating on the theme in a public speech yesterday, Mr. Orban said European leaders on the whole had failed to deal with mass migration and illegals, remarking: “Today’s disorderly Europe is incapable of finding solutions to the borders besieged by illegal migrants or the flourishing business of people smuggling; not to mention the challenges posed by terrorism. In the future, countries which maintain order, provide security and uphold legality will have an advantage”.
Touching on the subjects that dominated the UK referendum, Mr. Orban said that without this “order” there could be no economic growth, investment, or the “good life”.
Britain had elected to reject this direction of travel he said, and had moved to take their fate into their own hands, remarking that Britain was no longer asking for “lectures” from the European Union on how to run their own affairs, reports Hungary Today.
Hungary is soon to have its own referendum on the European Union — but on the specific issue of mass migration rather than overall membership. Speaking this morning government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs told Reuters “The government is determined, and has no reason not to hold [the vote]… It has never been more relevant to ask what the people think”.
It is against this background of a strong sense of purpose and a desire to remodel the European Union along nationalist, traditionalist lines that German newspaper Die Welt has today asked whether as today “the EU’s future is more open than ever”, that “the hour of the East Europeans might have come”.
This seizing of the political initiative is contingent upon cooperation between the conservatively minded Visegrad nations, says former Hungarian Ambassador to Berlin Gergely Pröhle, but if they succeed they can “gain much more influence in the EU”. If the Eastern Europeans can get their way the EU will be a bloc of economic cooperation and mutual defence — without the other areas of harmonisation including migration, “political correctness, nor imposed multi-culti”.
There are already signs of this movement getting underway. Speaking on Polish radio this morning, government deputy chief of the interior ministry Mariusz Błaszczak said that while Poland regretted the loss of Britain within the EU as an ally — “in many cases we had the same opinion” — in any case “this is an opportunity to reflect on the creation of a new EU treaty”.
The minister said: “we must take advantage of this situation to sort out some issues. To decrease the arrogance of Brussels and the European Commission by introducing clear rules by which we move in the EU, with the guiding principle of subsidiarity. This is all ahead of us”. He continued that while “we are supporters of [Poland remaining] in the EU… [we need] clear rules.
“So in the new treaty there would be clear separations of power between EU institutions and national institutions. It can be done… for example with the relocation of immigrants”.
It may be ironic that it took the departure of the United Kingdom to kick-start the reformation of the European Union into what it should have been in the first place. But for the sake of the 440 million Britain will leave behind, perhaps this moment could not have come soon enough.