Monday 26 October 2020

Dutch king calls for special attention for Brits living in NL

Photo: Wesley de Wit | Hollandse Hoogte

British nationals in the Netherlands and Dutch nationals who live in the UK, deserve special attention now the UK is leaving the EU, king Willem-Alexander said in a speech at the British parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

Brexit, the king said, ‘does not mean farewell. Our close, historic relationship will continue, albeit on a different footing.’

He referred to the trade, creative and investment ties between the two countries before going on to state: ‘One group deserves special attention: the 50,000 British nationals who live in the Netherlands, and the 150,000 Dutch nationals who live in the UK.’

‘Many of them have lived and worked there for many years. They feel at home in their local community and their contribution to society is valued, whether as employees, colleagues, neighbours or volunteers.

‘Yet all these individuals now live under the shadow of uncertainty about their future status. I understand how difficult this is for them and I trust that this uncertainty will be resolved,’ Willem-Alexander said.

Earlier on Tuesday the king and queen Maxima met members of the Dutch community in London, partly to discuss their concerns about Brexit. No agreement has yet been made about the rights of British nationals in the Netherlands and the Dutch in Britain after March 29 and many people are extremely worried about their future.

The two-day visit is the first official state visit by a Dutch monarch to Britain since 1982.

Read the full speech

Last Friday Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok, who has accompanied the royals to London, said the Netherlands will ensure a ‘decent solution‘ for British citizens in the Netherlands if there is a no-deal Brexit.

‘We will not abandon these people,’ Blok said. ‘Even in a no-deal scenario we will make sure there is a decent solution so that British nationals can stay in our country after March 30, 2019.’

A solution is already being worked on, Blok is quoted as saying by the AD.

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