Queen Elizabeth II has spoken publicly about Brexit for the first time, telling the King of the Netherlands that “as we look toward a new partnership with Europe” the values shared by the UK and Holland “are our greatest assets”.
Speaking at a state banquet in honour of King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima, the Queen added that as “innovators, traders and internationalists we look with confidence to the future”.
The Queen, who remains impartial in political matters, chose to emphasise the qualities needed by the UK and one of its closet European neighbours going forward.
Meanwhile, the Dutch king used a speech to lawmakers and diplomats in one of parliament’s grandest halls to express his regret over Britain’s decision to leave the European Union next year – a body he said was flawed, but which had also made great achievements.
Reaching a deal and predicting the consequences of Brexit was a highly complex task, he said, adding that the 150,000 Dutch nationals living in Britain and 50,000 British nationals living in the Netherlands deserved special attention.
“Many of them have lived and worked here for many years. They feel at home in their local community and their contribution to society is valued,” he said. “Yet these individuals now live under the shadow of uncertainty about their future status. I understand how difficult this is for them and I trust this uncertainty will be resolved.”
The Telegraph – Reuters