Dutch interests are well taken care of in the new trade deal agreed between the European Union and Britain, foreign affairs minister Stef Blok has told MPs in a briefing.
The deal which has been agreed is the best which was possible given the circumstances, Blok said. In particular, he said he is pleased about agreements on ensuring a level playing field, the rules on state aid to companies and on the environment, workers rights and taxation.
Nevertheless, he said, Dutch and other EU fishermen will be able to catch considerably less fish in British waters. And while this is a disappointment to the fishing industry, it was a necessary trade off to reach a deal, Blok said.
He also said he regretted Britain’s decision to withdraw from the Erasmus student exchange programme.
Earlier, prime minister Mark Rutte said news that a deal had been reached was ‘excellent’.
Dutch employers also said they were pleased that a deal had been reached in time but that ‘we should not get ahead of ourselves’.
In particular, the VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland have welcomed the parts of the agreement that guarantee a level playing field between British companies and companies in the EU.
‘But nevertheless, the consequences of Brexit will be immediately felt by industry from January. We will have to study the exact content and scope of the deal in the coming days to map out the effects for Dutch companies,’ the organisations said.
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