The Dutch might prefer a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on Oct. 31 to a postponement of Article 50, Foreign Trade Minister Sigrid Kaag said in an interview published on Monday.
‘At a certain moment, enough is enough,’ Kaag said in an interview with Het Financieele Dagblad.
“At that point the certainty offered by a worsening situation is better than continuing uncertainty with no new perspective,” she added.
Kaag’s view was echoed by German foreign minister Heiko Maas on Monday, who said that any further delay beyond October 31 must be accompanied by specific objectives. Although Maas said Germany wants an orderly Brexit, he made clear that “… for this to happen we finally need a decision and proposals from London.”
The Dutch economy is tightly knit with the British, with Rotterdam being the main logistics hub for fresh produce that make their way to British supermarkets from the EU but also from countries around the world. A chaotic Brexit without a transition agreement to soften the economic shock will have severe consequences for companies in the Netherlands, although the Dutch have been preparing for every eventuality.
At the same time, the Netherlands is one of the biggest beneficiaries of business uncertainty in the UK, enjoying an infusion of over €80bn in foreign direct investment since 2016, according to data released by the Dutch statistics office (CBS) on Monday.
This is a fivefold surge in FDI from the UK to the Netherlands. Britain is now the biggest foreign investor in the Netherlands. To the contrary, Dutch companies have been divesting from the UK, taking away €11bn from a stock of €50bn in 2016.