Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Koenders promotes interests of Dutch nationals living in UK in Brexit meeting with David Davis

On Monday foreign minister Bert Koenders met with David Davis, the UK secretary of state in charge of Brexit. Mr Davis was in the Netherlands to discuss the UK’s plans, now that the EU has been formally notified of the country's withdrawal and all parties are preparing for the exit negations. The Netherlands’ message to the UK is ‘keep calm, be realistic and negotiate’.

‘We had a constructive, professional discussion,’ said Mr Koenders. ‘I stressed that the UK had decided to leave of its own accord, but that the Netherlands wishes to continue working closely with the UK, in so far as its departure from the EU allows.’

The ministers also discussed the influence the recently announced UK elections could have on the negotiating timetable. ‘It’s now up to British voters to say what they want. The withdrawal process formally began on 29 March and will continue, regardless of the election results,’ said Mr Koenders. ‘Like the EU, the Netherlands hopes negotiations will begin soon. We will send a clear message to the British public at the Brexit summit on 29 April to show that we will approach the negotiations in a constructive, professional manner with an eye to obtaining the best outcome for the Netherlands, the EU and the UK.’

Mr Koenders also stressed that the Netherlands will work hard to promote the interests of Dutch nationals and businesses. The Netherlands wants the position of EU nationals living in the UK and border issues to be clarified as soon as possible. EU nationals must not become the victims of unclear regulations or long administrative procedures. In addition, it must be made clear during the first phase of negotiations how the financial implications of the UK’s exit from the EU will be resolved. Mr Koenders believes that a period of complex, wide-ranging negotiations awaits the EU and the UK. ‘But one thing is clear: the 27 remaining EU members will adopt a common position and act as one negotiating party.’