Hoekstra Says Brexit Is Bad for Netherlands, Trade Will Suffer

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Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra cautiously welcomed the Brexit deal signed off by European leaders Sunday, but said the divorce from the U.K. remains bad for trade -- especially for the Netherlands.

“We will feel the impact as we have a lot of trade with the U.K.,” Hoekstra said in an interview at television program Buitenhof, adding that the government will continue to prepare for a no-deal Brexit just in case.

On Sunday, the leaders of the 27 other EU member countries backed the legal text of the U.K.’s divorce at a special summit in Brussels. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May now faces huge opposition from her own Conservative Party as she tries to persuade Parliament to back it.

Britain is a key trading partner of the Netherlands, with the port in Rotterdam playing a vital role connecting the two economies. The port handles millions of tons of shipments between the Netherlands and Britain each year, including food and fresh flowers.

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