Prime Minister Mark Rutte has told the BBC that as an Anglophile, ‘I hate Brexit from every angle.’
Rutte was speaking on the fringes of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, at which Brexit is one of the hot topics.
‘It is crucially important we know what Britain wants from Brexit,’ Rutte said. ‘I hope we’ll come to some form of continued [UK] membership or relationship with the internal market. I absolutely believe the UK will be hit in the economy and the pound very hard.’
Britain has been one of the Netherlands’ chief allies within the EU and Rutte has been keen to build up a new network. ‘If people talk about the French-German axis, then I think “what about the French-Dutch axis,’ he told Dutch news agency ANP. ‘I want to help shape Europe and you need alliances for that.’
In the past few weeks, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourgh have been approaching various other EU blocs, including the three Baltic states, Scandinavia and newcomers to the EU such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Asked if like EU president Donald Tusk, he dreamt of turning back the clock on Brexit, Rutte said: ‘We all share that dream’.
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