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Minister David Jones, appointed minister for exiting the European Union, today visited the head office of the Dutch transport and logistics association (TLN) in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. He was accompanied by Ambassador Sir Geoffrey Adams.
Minister Jones met with the association’s president Arthur van Dijk. Minister David Jones emphasized, as the PM has already stated, the purpose of the UK was to continue with a deepened special partnership with the EU after a smooth and orderly withdrawal. He stated that because the UK wants to retain control over its borders, the UK can no longer be part of the Customs Union.
The minister acknowledged that trade and transport between the Netherlands and the UK is substantial and important. Whether it is about perishables or just in time logistics for automobile manufacturing, trade with the UK must be organized as frictionless as possible in the new relationship with the EU. This implies an important role for customs preparations, although the advantage of compliance with EU regulations was already there, according to the minister.
During his short meeting Minister Jones called upon TLN to help resist political urges to make an example of the UK to deter other members states from leaving the EU. “Article 50 is in the Lisbon Treaty for a reason,” he said. “About 17.4 million people voted to leave, in the largest turnout ever.” Jones said the democratic choice of the British people to leave the EU can best be facilitated in a business oriented manner, for common benefit.
Arthur van Dijk wished Minister Jones the best of luck in, what undoubtedly will be difficult negotiations. He asked for attention to customs problems and proposed to mitigate problems with extra paperwork at the borders through use of electronic documents. He agreed to stay in touch during the process.