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 Boris Johnson  None held to date
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 “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.”

“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.

“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.”

“I hate Brexit from every angle”

“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 (ChristenUnie, CDA, VVD and D66) 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.

This vulnerability increased in March 2019 when the coalition lost its majority in the Senate. The government is now dependent on opposition parties to pass through legislation.

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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