More UK companies looking to NL after Brexit
British companies are increasingly looking at the Netherlands in their search for ways to continue to serve their customers in the European Union now that the United Kingdom has officially left it. They are opening branches in the Netherlands, or outsourcing logistics or tax services to Dutch companies, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and Nederland Distributieland (NDL) said on Wednesday, ANP reports.
In 2019, a total of 397 international companies opened branches in the Netherlands, including 78 for Brexit reasons. Last year there were "significantly more", a spokesperson for the NFIA said to the news wire. "The Brexit transition period is over, but the growth is increasing. These are the busiest months we've had so far."
The NFIA is currently in talks with over 500 companies considering moving or expanding to the Netherlands. About half of them are British, the spokesperson said.
The NDL, which acts as matchmaker between foreign companies and Dutch service providers, also noticed more interest. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the NDL were working on around 50 Brexit related project. So far in January, there are already nearly 30, a spokesperson said.
The EU and UK did come to a trade agreement, but the UK no longer has free movement of goods with the EU. That means that transporters have to deal with a lot more red tape. After leaving the EU market, British companies also now have to deal with VAT rules from 27 different countries. And on top of that comes coronavirus travel restrictions, and everyone traveling from Britain to France needing a negative Covid-19 test. That costs truck drivers a great deal of extra time.
The Guardian reported that all these extra difficulties resulted in the UK Department of Commerce advising UK companies to open a branch in the EU.