|Head of State
|King Willem Alexander
Mark Rutte (Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), since 2012)
|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||10 October, 2016|
|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.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos on 19 Jan 2017
“Theresa May faced up to reality in her speech, but it also means that the UK is now making a choice to control migration and paying a huge price because the economic growth rate of the UK will be impacted negatively by the fact that it will leave the biggest market in the world.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders on 29 March 2017
“But you can’t have your cake and eat it and I think the British government knows it. You can never get a better deal outside the EU than inside the EU.”
22 June 2017
“I hate Brexit from every angle”
|The Netherlands’ priorities||Following the elections, the main priority is now to form a coalition of four parties or possibly more.
Innovation, the economy and job-creation were the main priorities for the former government.
The focus was also on security, due to terrorist attacks taking place in neighbouring countries.
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