The U.K. may have been hopelessly outgunned in Brexit negotiations with the rest of the European Union, but Brexit will certainly affect many companies on the continent—including some in the Netherlands.
Which is why the Dutch foreign minister has unveiled a large, blue, furry being—to get the attention of local companies and encourage them to perform a “Brexit Impact Scan.”
Stef Blok tweeted an image of himself and the Brexit beast—a kind of Cookie Monster-Chewbacca hybrid—on Thursday morning.
The use of this monster may suggest that Brexit isn’t taken entirely seriously over in the Netherlands, but that’s not the case, particularly as the U.K. seems to be skidding toward a “no-deal” Brexit that would have a severe impact on supply chains.
Dutch hospitals fear a shortage of medicines and medical supplies if there’s a no-deal Brexit, as they import many of these from the U.K. The U.K. is also the third-largest export market for Dutch flower-growers, and Dutch fishermen fear losing their ability to catch herring in British waters.
On the other hand, the Netherlands has been doing very nicely out of multinationals’ panic over Brexit, with Sony and Panasonic moving their European headquarters there from London, and the EU Medicines Agency doing the same.