Hungary wades into Brexit debate with Remain appeal

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Budapest | Published: June 19, 2016 11:02:47 PM

Hungary's controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban will publish an open letter in British media this week urging Britons to vote to remain in the European Union, his government said today.

Hungary’s controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban will publish an open letter in British media this week urging Britons to vote to remain in the European Union, his government said today.

The appeal by the populist Orban, who has himself been fiercely critical of the EU, will be published on Monday, Orban’s spokesman Zoltan Kovacs announced on the government’s website.

“The Hungarian government is often accused of being anti-European but this current ‘pro-Europe’ gesture shows how much we believe in the European Union’s achievements, even if we have different views on the continent’s future,” Kovacs said.

In the appeal Orban will tell the British: “The decision is yours but Hungary is very proud to be a member of the EU with you.”

Kovacs said Hungarian diplomats across Europe would also be arguing the anti-Brexit case in the last days before Thursday’s in-out referendum.

Hungary’s intervention comes as Budapest prepares for a referendum in the autumn on an EU plan for distributing 160,000 refugees among EU members. The government is campaigning against the plan.

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