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‘Brexit will cost us jobs’, warns Dutch king


The Hague / AFP

Britain’s vote to leave the EU has caused uncertainty in Europe and will impact The Netherlands including causing job losses, Dutch King Willem-Alexander said on Tuesday.
Giving his traditional speech marking the opening of parliament — written by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his cabinet — the king said the internationally-focused Dutch economy faced its greatest danger from outside the country.
“There are new uncertainties in Europe as a result of the Brexit vote, which will also directly impact The Netherlands,” the royal said in his “Prinsjesdag” (Prince’s Day) speech at the historic 13th century Knight’s Hall near parliament.
“The United Kingdom is one of our most important trading partners and the Brexit’s going to cost jobs, also in The Netherlands,” he said.
The Dutch central statistics office (CBS) has predicted that the June 23 vote by Britain to leave the European Union would hit the Dutch economy “relatively harder” than most other EU countries. Britain is third-most important trading partner for the Dutch after Germany and Belgium, with the CBS saying declining trade could cost the lowlands country some 10 billion euros losses by 2030. There are some 300,000 jobs in The Netherlands directly tied to Britain, particularly in the food-processing industry, the respected Dutch daily NRC reported.
“Within the EU, only Ireland and Malta are more dependent on Britain,” the paper added. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem was to present the government’s budget for 2017 later Tuesday.

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