ING: Brexit will damage Dutch economy

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ING's economic office believe that a United Kingdom departure from the European Union, the so-called Brexit, would have damaging consequences for the Dutch economy.

According to the economist, the unrest caused only by the referendum on a Brexit in 2017 is already creating a slowdown in the British economy, RTL reports. An actual departure may reduce the economic growth for the whole European Union, including the Netherlands.

Dutch exports in particular will suffer. The Netherlands would also lose an ally in advocating for more market-oriented reforms in the EU. After Germany, the UK is the most important trade partner for the Netherlands. The total annual exports to the UK amounts to 47 billion euros. According to ING, trade with the UK accounts for 300 thousand jobs in the Netherlands. And with 76 billion euros, Britain is one of the largest international investors in the Dutch economy.

This weekend it was revealed that the British central bank is doing research into the economic and financial consequences a British exit from the EU would have. The British population will be able to give their opinion on whether or not the United Kingdom should stay in the EU in a referendum by the end of 2017, Prime Minister David Cameron promised.

Before the referendum Cameron will negotiate a reform of the EU, and with it the British position within the EU. The British Prime Minister will be having a series of one-on-one meetings with European leaders, starting off with president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, NOS reports. He will be meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Thursday. According to the broadcaster, these meetings are part of Cameron's "charm offensive" in an attempt to gain support for his plan to reduce the power of Brussels.