It is in the Netherlands’ interest to prevent a no-deal Brexit so the Dutch government is prepared to give the UK more time to reach a deal on a withdrawal accord, foreign minister Stef Blok said ahead of a meeting of EU ministers in Luxembourg.
‘If a delay leads to a good solution, the Netherlands will support it,’ Blok said, while emphasing the importance of a ‘regulated Brexit’.
There are different opinions with the EU member states, he said, adding that he could not imagine the EU would not cooperate with a request for a delay. ‘But any extension will mean taking part in the EU elections,’ he said.
His comments echo those made by prime minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday, who said on Twitter it is ‘in everyone’s interest to have an orderly Brexit.’
Spoke to @theresa_may. At #EUCO we will discuss UK request for further extension Brexit-day. Crucial to know when and on what basis UK will ratify the Withdrawal Agreement. A positive decision hinges also on assurances from UK on sincere cooperation.
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) April 8, 2019
Some countries, including Germany, have said that Britain should commit to not interfering with important EU decisions, such as drawing up a new budget and naming a new commission chairman.
EU leaders will discuss the situation in Brussels on Thursday evening. All 27 EU leaders have to agree to extending the British negotiating period.
British prime minister Theresa May has requested a delay to June 30.
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