The Queen has spoken about the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union for the first time since Britain voted to leave the EU more than two years ago.
Her Majesty made the comments during a State Banquet held at Buckingham Palace in honour of the state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.
Speaking at the banquet, The Queen told the Dutch King that “as we look toward a new partnership with Europe” the values shared by the UK & the Netherlands “are our greatest assets”.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima began their state visit to the United Kingdom on Tuesday.
In the morning, Their Majesties were welcomed by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Dutch Ambassador’s Residence in London.
The King and Queen were then welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Pavilion at Horse Guards in London, after which The Prince of Wales and the Dutch King inspected the Guard of Honour which gave a Royal Salute, and the Dutch National Anthem was played the Band of the Regiment.
A couple of weeks ago, according to The Guardian, King Willem-Alexander said the Dutch government’s position remained one of regret that Brexit was happening, but he added that the country ultimately respected the choice of the British people.
Even though the UK now are working the leave the EU, the Dutch monarch still believes in a strong economic tie between the two nations. His Majesty said that the trading partnership between the two countries would stay strong, with agreements becoming more bi-lateral as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU. Although His Majesty hoped for a strong economic bond between the nations he also said that he expected to see an impact on trade.
The King also indirectly criticized the British government by calming that he had yet to see any evidence of success in their attempts to go over the head of the EU negotiator to get a better deal from member states. King Willem-Alexander made his position on the Brexit clear when he addressed British journalists at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. This was done ahead of the Dutch state visit to the UK later this month. Britain is the Netherlands’ second largest trading partner after Germany.