BUDAPEST, (Reuters) – Hungarian immigrants who already work in Britain will not see a deterioration in their situation after Britain leaves the European Union, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday.
Orban, who met British Prime Minister Theresa May in London earlier this week, said he and May had agreed on the issue, which is critical for around 95,000 Hungarians already working in the United Kingdom.
Unofficial estimates put this figure much higher.
“We had agreed that the situation of Hungarians already working in the UK today cannot worsen in the future, as long as the situation of Brits working in Hungary won’t deteriorate either,” Orban said in an interview on Kossuth radio.
“The debate will be about whether those, who would want to move to the UK in the future, will be able to go there or not.”
Since Hungary joined the EU in 2004, hundreds of thousands of Hungarians have moved to work in richer western Europe, mostly in Germany, Britain and Scandinavian states.
Britons voted to leave the EU by 52 to 48 percent on June 23. The British government’s plans to begin a two-year divorce process by the end of March were thrown into disarray last week, however, when a court ruled that parliament must be consulted on the decision.
Prime Minister May has said she is confident of overturning that ruling.
Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Catherine Evans