January 9, 2018 / 11:52 AM / 10 days ago

Dutch PM Rutte: Britain must clarify post-Brexit relationship

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday called on Britain to clarify its future relationship with key trading partners after it leaves the European Union.

Tweeting after a meeting with EU negotiator Michel Barnier, Rutte said: “It is essential that UK clarifies its position on our future relationship. Transition period important to minimize impact on citizens and businesses.”

The Netherlands is one of the top EU trading partners with Britain and a disorderly departure from the trading bloc in March 2019, without a replacement trade deal, is expected to trim several percentage points off Dutch GDP.

Rutte also repeated the backing of the Netherlands of Barnier as “sole EU-negotiator”.

Dutch economic forecaster CPB has projected a hit to the $770 billion economy of the Netherlands of up to 2 percentage points by 2030. Analysts at the Rabobank have forecast a loss of as much as 4.25 percentage points.

In a worst-case scenario, Rabobank estimated the loss for the Netherlands would be 4,000 euros (3,525 pounds) per worker by 2030, and 13,500 euros per British worker.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Alison Williams

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