Hungary’s prime minister has called for the EU to round up ‘illegal immigrants’ and deport them to a guarded island refugee camp.
Viktor Orban suggested they should be ’rounded up and shipped out’ to ‘an island or some shore of North Africa’ where they can make their asylum applications.
It is the latest hard-line comment from Orban, whose government has been criticised by rights groups for stirring up xenophobia and intolerance.
His government has already ordered the construction of a razor wire fence along Hungary’s southern border.
In an interview with the website Origo.hu, he continued his tough rhetoric claiming illegal immigrants should be assembled in EU-supervised refugee camps beyond the bloc’s borders while they are filing for asylum.
He said: ‘This could be an island, it could be a coastal area in North Africa, but the security and supplies of that area must be guaranteed by the EU in its own interest.
‘Those who came illegally must be rounded up and shipped out.
‘We must set up large refugee camps outside the EU, with armed security and financial support provided by the Union. Everyone who came illegally must return there. There they can file for asylum.’
He said this was a ‘grave moral task’ that was the only alternative to the migrants staying in Europe and being relocated around the continent, creating further problems.
Resettlements were an exercise in futility as those who wanted to be in Germany would promptly return there after resettlement, he said.
‘There is only one solution that befits everyone, including us who are not yet in trouble because we defended ourselves and countries like Germany which are in trouble: Taking (migrants) out of the Union.’
He reiterated that the external borders of the EU must be strengthened to prevent a repeat of the 2015 flow of migrants.
‘Borders must be used, because they protect us,’ he said. ‘Some imagine a globe without borders…I am one of those who would not like to see the civilisation of the world change.’
The Hungarian government is sponsoring a referendum to be held on October 2 to build political support for its opposition to any future EU quotas to resettle migrants among member states.
Orban said in the interview that it is unfair for Germany to try to distribute migrants among other EU countries, and that it should set a limit on the number of migrants that it will take in.
The comments come as Britain raised concerns with Hungary over a description of areas of London, Paris and Brussels as ‘no-go’ areas dominated by illegal immigrants who increase the risk of militant attacks.
Ahead of the October referendum in Hungary, the country released an official leaflet setting out the government’s case for voting ‘No’, including its views on the impact of migration on major Western cities.
In one section, under the title ‘Forced resettlement poses a threat to our culture and traditions’, the leaflet includes a map of Europe detailing – in red – what it said were no-go areas where the authorities could not keep control. Cities so identified included London, Paris, Brussels and Berlin.
Other pages of the leaflet include a section on how ‘Illegal immigration increases the terror threat’.
‘Immigrants mostly come from areas where European countries are carrying out military actions. This greatly increases the security risk,’ the Hungarian leaflet said.
‘Terrorists deliberately and in a well-organised fashion take advantage of the lack of control to melt into the crowds of immigrants.’
Britain’s embassy in Budapest raised concerns about the leaflet.
‘This leaflet is clearly inaccurate,’ a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said.
‘There are no areas in the UK in which the laws of the UK cannot be enforced.’