UK nationals’ rights in the Netherlands are top priority, says Brexit minister

Clarifying the rights of British nationals in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe and EU nationals in Britain should be a top priority in the forthcoming talks on Britain’s withdrawal from Europe, Britain’s minister for Europe David Jones has told DutchNews.nl

Britain will protect the rights of EU nationals living in the UK and the European Commission should look after the rights of British nationals living in the Netherlands, Jones said in an interview in Amsterdam.

‘We actually think this issue should be settled ahead of anything else,’ Jones, who was in the Netherlands for two days of talks, said.

‘We are talking about individuals who are concerned about their families and their careers and I think every EU country and the commission have a positive duty to put these people’s minds at rest over the future.’

Jones was in the Netherlands to meet ministers, MPs and business leaders as part of bilateral talks with the Netherlands ahead of the start of formal withdrawal negotiations.

Amsterdam

On Tuesday, he met Amsterdam’s deputy mayor Kajsa Ollongren and other officials. Amsterdam is keen to attract business from post-Brexit Britain and has been working on various campaigns to encourage firms to relocate.

‘The message we got from her [Ollongren] and from other business people we have spoken to today is that Amsterdam is very much complimentary to London and we were assured there is no aggressive campaign to steal business from London,’ Jones said.

Amsterdam, he said, is an important financial centre in European terms but London is a global financial centre. ‘To that extent, Amsterdam is complementary to London but I don’t think they have ambitions to replace it as a global centre.’

Analysts have said the Dutch tough rules on bonuses will make it very difficult for financial service firms to move to the Dutch capital.

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