Saturday 28 May 2022

Government told to make up its mind on Ukraine treaty

Ukraine Netherlands  Sign Flags ConceptMPs have told the government it must come with a formal reaction to the result of April’s referendum on the EU treaty with Ukraine before the beginning of November, news website Nu.nl said on Friday.

MPs from across the political spectrum said the Netherlands’ position on the result and ratification of the treaty has to be made clear before the end of next month. ‘We can’t hang around any longer,’ D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said during Thursday’s debate on the government’s plans for 2017.

The Netherlands held a referendum on April 6 about whether or not to support the EU’s treaty with Ukraine, which some claim paves the way for the central European country to join the EU.

The turnout was just 32%, but this was enough for the result to have legal weight. Some 62% of those who voted said no to the treaty.

Although the referendum is purely advisory, prime minister Mark Rutte has said he will ‘do justice’ to the no vote. During Thursday’s debate, he pointed out that even if the Netherlands refuses to ratify the treaty, it will be implemented by the 27 other EU countries.

He has previously described the result of the referendum as ‘disastrous’ but the government has not yet taken a formal decision on what to do.

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