“When we held the referendum on our accession to the EU, 3 million 56 thousand people voted in favour of joining, and now the current number of “No” votes stands at 3 million 204 thousand – a figure which does not include most of the votes from Hungarians beyond the borders”, the Prime Minister explained. “In this referendum around 15 per cent more people voted than in the last elections for the European Parliament”, Mr. Orbán added, noting that “the weapon will also be strong enough in Brussels”.
“Following the celebrations there are two things we must do to assert the will of the people”, he continued. He said that first the people’s decision must be given legislative validity, and accordingly within the next few days he will put a Bill before Parliament on constitutional amendment. “Today the people have declared their will, and we must also set this down and include it in the Constitution”, Mr. Orbán announced.
According to the Prime Minister, the other urgent task is to also have Sunday’s decision enforced in Brussels. “The question is simple: can Brussels – the democratic community of European states – impose its will on a Member State in which it is opposed by more than 90 per cent of those voting?” he added. Mr. Orbán promised that he will do everything possible to ensure that this does not happen.
The leaders of the governing parties and Members of the European Parliament had gathered in the “Bálna” building in Budapest, where the Prime Minister made a short statement acknowledging those who voted in the referendum and who, as a result, contributed to “the emergence of this huge accord between more than three million people”. He added that “Of those people who voted today, nine out of ten voted for Hungary and for the country’s right to make an independent decision”.
“We can be proud of the fact that Hungary is the first and only Member State in the European Union to have directly voiced its opinion on the issue of immigration. This was the right thing to do and it was the honest thing to do”, the Prime Minister said, adding that this issue was not yet on the agenda in the 2014 parliamentary election, so at that time voters had not had the opportunity to express an opinion on the matter. This was despite the fact that, Mr. Orbán said, the question is perhaps one of the most important for the years ahead, and concerns the future of Hungary, of our children and of our grandchildren: “Who will we be living with, what will our culture be like, what will happen to our existing way of life and the economic system that we have put in order with such great effort, and what will be the fate of our Christian roots?”
The question, he continued, is what the European Union’s answer will be to the tide of modern-day population movement which has “spectacularly and painfully” reached Europe. Mr. Orbán stated that the EU’s proposal is to allow immigrants in and then distribute them mandatorily among its Member States, based on a decision by Brussels. He stressed that on Sunday Hungarians rejected this proposal and declared that only the Hungarians may decide on who they wish to live with. “Brussels or Budapest? This was the question, and we decided that Budapest has the exclusive right to decide”, the Prime Minister said.
According to Mr. Orbán, “On Sunday we set off on a path; it will be a long trip, but we have taken the first and most important step. Major battles and fierce conflicts await us on this path”.