Netherlands cashing in on Brexit UK business flocks to EU
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Euroscepticism is growing in the Netherlands, despite a lack of debate in the media over the EU’s role in the country, according to EU expert Gabriel van de Bloemfontein. The Nexit Denktank researcher told Express.co.uk that only 10 percent of Dutch people now believe more EU integration is needed.
Mr van de Bloemfontein argued that anti-Brexit scaremongering reports might have lowered the number of people believing the Netherlands is better off outside the EU.
But he added that, according to recent polls, 40 percent of Dutch people still want out, which is “quite high” considering the lack of debate, he said.
He said: “In 2016, 2017, polls showed that there was a majority in the Netherlands for leaving.
“After that, it has declined a bit. I can’t really explain why maybe because of the project fear making people scared in the media.
“But right now, I saw a poll of a Dutch public broadcast company, and they showed that around 40 percent would like to leave the EU, which is not low at all without any campaign going on.
“And recently, the news are all about coronavirus. Even at the last elections, not one bit was discussed about the EU.
“So I think it’s actually quite hight. Despite the scary stories we constantly hear.
“What’s even more interesting is that it also shows that only 10 percent of the Dutch people want more EU integration, which is very low.
“But yet it still happens. But this is a promising statistic.
“It shows that the Netherlands is actually very eurosceptic.”
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In 2005, the Netherlands, like France, voted in a consultative referendum on the Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe.
Official results say that 61.6 percent of voters rejected the Constitution, on a turnout of 63.3 percent.
Last month, Royal Dutch Shell said it would scrap its dual share structure and move its head office to Brexit Britain from the Netherlands, pushed away by Dutch taxes and facing climate pressure in court as the energy giant shifts from oil and gas.
The company, which long faced questions from investors about its dual structure and had recently been hit by a Dutch court order over its climate targets, aims to drop “Royal Dutch” from its name – part of its identity since 1907 – to become Shell Plc.
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The Anglo-Dutch firm has been in a long-running tussle with the Dutch authorities over the country’s 15 percent dividend withholding tax, which Shell sought to avoid paying with its two share classes. Its new structure would resolve that issue.
In a further knock to its relations with the Netherlands, the biggest Dutch state pension fund ABP said last month it would drop Shell and all fossil fuels from its portfolio.
The move infuriated Nexit campaigners who were quick to blame the Dutch government’s submission to the EU for Shell’s decision.
Nexit Denktank representatives wrote: “Shell moves to the United Kingdom and becomes fully British on paper. Very unfortunate for the Netherlands, but were we not told in 2016 that all companies would leave the UK due to Brexit? Another lie.
“In 2002, when the euro was introduced, the British were also warned that all companies would leave if they did not adopt the euro as their national currency. That was also a lie. The EU and the euro are not necessary to attract companies.
“The real proof is in the relocations of Shell and Unilever, which are among the largest companies in the world. They wouldn’t leave the Netherlands for the UK if they didn’t take advantage of that. We don’t need the EU, we need a good trade agreement.
“So we are again losing a piece of Dutch pride and history because our Europhile cabinet was more concerned with undermining Brexit than with the interests of the Netherlands. Our government cares about the interests of the EU, not the interests of the Netherlands.
“According to Rutte, we can close the port of Rotterdam, we will lose all our jobs and our economy will collapse if we leave the EU. It’s all scaremongering and EU propaganda. Such things don’t happen in the UK. Shell is the reality NOW.
“We are losing prestige because of the EU. In the long run, it turns out that we can’t do anything ourselves. The unelected bureaucrats in Brussels determine everything for us. The British can have their own policy. Stop believing the scaremongering and EU propaganda. Nothing bad is going to happen after Nexit.”
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