London, Feb 22 (IANS) Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has urged the British government to act swiftly to “offer more clarity” about its plans for Brexit, saying that “the clock is ticking”.
The Prime Minister, tweeting after his talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street, called for swift action from London over its Brexit plans, Xinhua news agency reported.
“So the British government really needs to offer more clarity about where it wants to go,” Rutte said on Wednesday.
“The clock is ticking, and we need to move fast,” the Prime Minister said. “I sincerely hope that we’ll succeed in reaching agreements that are good for us all.”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for May said in a statement said that during the meeting, May gave an update on Brexit negotiations with both leaders agreeing on the importance of concluding the terms of the implementation period in March and the terms of the future partnership as soon as possible.
“The prime minister set out her vision for a bold future economic partnership with the Netherlands and the whole of the EU after the UK leaves, stressing that we should all be optimistic and flexible to achieve a trading relationship which is as frictionless as possible, which Prime Minister Rutte welcomed,” the spokesperson said.
The Netherlands has been one of the UK’s closest allies in the European Union (EU), the Dutch prime minister noted, adding that relations between the two nations are “fantastic.”
“In view of our close economic ties, it is clearly crucial for the Netherlands and Dutch business to ensure a strong relationship post-Brexit,” Rutte said.
The British government has asked the EU to consider granting the UK a longer Brexit transition period than the one proposed by Brussels, documents drawn up by negotiators show.
The European Commission has said the transition, during which the UK would be bound by EU rules despite being outside the bloc, should end on December 31, 2020, but UK negotiators said on Wednesday that they want to discuss the possibility of a different duration — amid concern that there may not be enough time to prepare for Brexit.