British Eurosceptic MEP Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party, believes Hungary cannot be a sovereign country while it stays in the European Union and is sure that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán would be happy to leave the bloc, according to an interview he gave pro-government newspaper Magyar Idők.
“Hungary is either a sovereign state or a member of the European Union,” Farage said, according to a transcript of the interview published in Hungarian. “The two cannot happen at the same time. I am sure that your prime minister, in reality, would happily leave the EU,” Magyar Idők quoted the British politician as saying.
Farage said Hungary would gain “enormous benefits” if it left the union.
“Think about it: after that you could write your own laws, you could adapt your own foreign affairs, or you could entirely control your own borders,” Farage was quoted by the paper as saying. “The essence of the question is identity, how far this country sticks to its values and culture,” Farage added, rehashing his old argument used earlier when speaking in favor of Brexit.
Discussing the European Commission’s infringement procedure launched against Hungary in relation to EU refugee relocation quotas, Farage said: “I believe I must say this once again: you cannot be a democratic and independent country as long as you are a member of the European Union.”
Farage, in promoting the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the bloc, added that “fortunately the situation of the British has changed as we decided to leave. On the contrary, you gave up your independence.”
At the same time, Farage suggested that Orbán cannot win against Brussels, which he said is close to the Soviet Union in nature.
“Orbán fights in vain […] he simply cannot win against Brussels. I do not want to use an exaggerating example, as we are not talking about the Soviet Union, but the current situation is not far from that. It is enough to mention the Brezhnev-like doctrine of limited sovereignty […] I am stressing here that the situation is not so bad, but from the point of view of democracy, the similarities are stunning,” the paper quoted Farage as saying.
When asked about Brexit, which the paperʼs interviewer suggested appears to be “heading into chaos,” Farage compared the EU bloc to a prison.
“It is always difficult to leave prison. We never said it was going to be easy, as financially the whole political scene is interested in being a member. But we will succeed, we will leave,” he vowed.
(Note: the interview with Farage was conducted in English but published in Hungarian, hence the quotes given here are back-translations from the Hungarian.)