Rotterdam Prepare Despite Extension
Despite yesterday’s news that Prime Minister May has agreed two options to extend the Brexit deadline, the Port of Rotterdam is still preparing for the UK to leave on March 29th.
Mark Dijk, the manager of Europe’s largest port, reportedly told BBC news that while he feels “definitely relieved” about the Brexit extension, they are still preparing for the UK’s departure on the original date.
Netherlands trade is expected to be hit significantly if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, potentially losing 30% to 40% of its total volume with the UK. According to the Dutch Court of Audit, a no-deal Brexit will cost the Netherlands an estimated €2.3 billion by 2023.
Around 35,000 Dutch companies only export to the current customs union and should the UK leave without a deal, they will be dealing with customs for the first time. In an effort to smooth any transition, the Dutch government has been hiring more than 900 customs, agricultural and veterinary inspectors.
Yesterday’s announcement from Teresa May, confirmed that the Brexit deadline has been extended, subject to the result of a third attempt to get her withdrawal agreement passed through Westminster.
Should parliament back the deal she has negotiated with the EU, the extension will run until May 22nd. Should it be rejected again, meaning a likely departure without a deal, the date would only be extended until April 12th.
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