Project Brexit

Netherlands

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Head of State

Prime Minister

King Willem Alexander

Mark Rutte (Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), since 2012)

Population 17,000,059
Size 408.1/km2 (1,056.9 sq mi)
MEPs 26 (Joined the EU in 1958)
Next legislative election 2021
Presidency of the Council July – December 2029
Last meeting with Theresa May  11 December 2018
Brexit priorities The Netherlands and the UK are close allies and the UK is the Netherlands’s second biggest trading partner, after Germany. Therefore, the post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU will be crucial for the Dutch economy. Research in the Netherlands has shown Brexit will cost every Dutch person 1,000 euros.

Other priorities for the future Dutch Government will most likely include guaranteeing the rights of citizens living in the UK and making sure the UK meets its financial obligations.

With Eurosceptic parties having gained more support in the parliamentary election in March, the future Government will want to make Brexit appear unattractive.

What Mr Rutte said on Brexit 1 June 2016

“I was very much surprised by the Johnson/Gove proposals to make it harder for Europeans to work in the UK if Britain were to vote to leave the EU I think it would be very bad news for the UK, for the Netherlands, for Europe as a whole, for two reasons. First of all, take the Netherlands and the UK, we are both sea-faring nations. Our ability to create jobs, our future growth, is built on the free market. It’s built on open borders. And, secondly, it would be unavoidable, inevitable, for us and for many others in Europe to follow the same proposals, to implement a points-system also in the rest of the European Union. So you would get a race to the bottom. And that is exactly what you don’t want”.

28 June 2016

“It would be unwise to force a rapid departure. It would be prudent to give Britain time. There is a serious economic problem that could hurt the financial position of Britain and have consequences for the rest of Europe.”

8 August 2016

“There is a need to maintain strong ties between their two countries. The relationship between the UK and the Netherlands was good, is good and remains good.

10 October 2016

“It is evident we will maintain mutual interests in future, but that does not take away from the fact we have very tough negotiations coming up.” He added they would be particularly tough for the UK.

22 June 2017

“I hate Brexit from every angle”

20 September 2018

“I think it’s possible still to get to a good deal for both the U.K. and the European Union. It’s in the interest of the Netherlands, but also in the interest of many other countries because of our trade relations.”

The Netherlands’ priorities The Netherlands got a new Government following elections on 15th March 2017. The coalition currently consists of four parties that together have a one-seat majority. This small majority combined with the fact four very different parties have to work together makes this Government quite vulnerable.

Main priorities of this Government are investing in education and the economy, while stimulating innovation and job-creation.

There is also on security, due to terrorist attacks taking place in neighbouring countries.

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