Christian Democrat MPs have abandoned their opposition to plans to flood a large area of land in Zeeland to compensate for a loss of wildlife habitats.
The habitats will be lost when the Westerschelde estuary is deepened to allow bigger ships to reach Antwerp harbour.
Last-ditch efforts to find an alternative to breaking the dykes around the Hedwige polder failed and last week ministers said they would approve the flooding.
The CDA’s u-turn means the three coalition parties, the animal rights party PvdD and left-wing greens GroenLinks have now all given their approval to the flood plan.
The Netherlands and Belgium agreed in 2005 to deepen the estuary and flood the polder but the Netherlands’ reluctance to start work, coupled with several legal setbacks, led to a diplomatic row between the two countries in the summer.
Deliberately flooding land is a sensitive issue in the Netherlands, much of which is below sea level.
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