"Time is running out", Dutch PM says about Brexit
On Tuesday Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke to his British counterpart Theresa May about the state of affairs regarding the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union at the end of March. "Time is running out. The ball is in London's court", Rutte tweeted after this discussion.
Negotiators from the EU and UK are currently in negotiations, trying to prevent a chaotic, no-deal Brexit at the end of March. "The importance of reaching an agreement is clear to all. I support the resumption of talks in Brussels", Rutte said.
In January the British Prime Minister presented a withdrawal treaty reached with the EU to her fellow countrymen, but the British House of Commons shot it down. They're against the so-called backstop, a regulation that must ensure that there is no hard boundary between Norther Ireland and Ireland after the Brexit.
Rutte previously stressed that so far the British have set so many conditions that not much else is possible than the Brexit agreement the British MPs rejected. "But if you want to relax something on the deal, the British have to think again about the preconditions." According to the Prime Minister, this involves whether the British want to stay in a customs union and whether they will accept a border in the Irish sea, among other things.
Despite over 250 companies considering to move their headquarters to the Netherlands due to the UK's departure from the EU, a no-deal Brexit will still be a blow to the Dutch economy. The UK leaving the EU with no agreements in place could cost the Netherlands 2.3 billion euros, and the Amsterdam region 1 billion euros.
A no-deal Brexit will mean that trade with the UK will be handled the same as trade with any other non-EU country, with extra quality checks and customs controls. Thousands of Dutch companies are not yet prepared for this, Customs warned last month.