Ministers for finding Brexit opportunities seem to be surplus to requirement in the Netherlands, where businesses are setting up at a rate of knots to avoid cross-Channel trade issues. The influx of British-based companies to the country has swelled as they struggle with the disruption of a customs border across the North Sea, the FT reports.
The European Movement tweeted: “Here’s one of your Brexit benefits… it’s just… it benefits the Netherlands, not the UK.
“You can’t keep lying to the British people and pretending like Brexit has been a success, when it has been an unmitigated disaster.”
More than 90 investors have built or rented distribution space since 2017, half of them in 2021, according to government agency Invest in Holland.
They include Huboo, a logistics provider to online retailers.
Chief executive Martin Bysh said it had to act after clients deserted as Brexit negotiations went to the wire in December 2020.
He said: “We lost about 10 percent of our revenue, which was clients leaving the UK for Europe.
“It was a chaotic landscape. We didn’t know what to do, and there was almost no Government advice.
“The Netherlands is a great place to set up a business. They are ready to help and they sit next to so many key markets.”
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Since 2017, the amount of warehouse space at Rotterdam port has doubled to 4mn sq m, or 400 hectares.
Danny Levenswaard, director of break-bulk at the port, said: “There is a lot of demand, and Brexit is one of the factors.”
The increase in demand for port services, up by around a fifth, has been manageable, according to Marty van Pelt, a business relations manager.
He explained: “We don’t have queues. The longest wait is four minutes, which is the time customs officers have to decide if they want to inspect something.”
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