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Concerning the rights of Hungarians living in the UK, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said they must not be infringed after Brexit. Hungary’s aim is to maintain an earlier agreement which states that, regardless of the form of Brexit, citizens’ rights must be mutually guaranteed regardless of whether they live in the EU or in the UK. “We have done our homework because we approved a package of laws this year that guarantees the rights of Brits living in Hungary regardless of the outcome of the Brexit process,” Szijjártó said.

The UK government has decided that all EU citizens who live legally and permanently in the UK can stay in the country after Brexit and maintain their extant rights, but they must apply to the British Home Office in order to receive permanent resident status. According to latest ministry figures, over 1.5 million people have applied for permanent residence, almost 40,000 of them Hungarian. Several diplomatic missions in London recently indicated that various problems had emerged recently. Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki told BBC that the embassy had been notified by Polish citizens that they had received only preliminary permanent resident status despite having lived in the UK for ten years or longer.

Answering a question about whether the Hungarian government had any similar information, Szijjártó said no such reports had been forthcoming. But if such reports are received, the ministerial commissioner in charge of handling the consequences of Brexit will contact the British authorities, he said. Hungary would immediately intervene because it is considered a priority that the extant rights of Hungarians living and studying in the UK are respected, he added. The minister said that no British prime minister, since the Brexit referendum, had questioned the UK living up to these obligations.

In London, Szijjártó had talks with Dominic Raab, the foreign minister, and Steve Barclay, the minister overseeing Brexit.