Prime Minister hails new era of Dutch-UK security cooperation post-Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May hails new era of defence and security cooperation with the Dutch post-Brexit

The Netherlands will today (24 October) become one of the first nations to announce they intend to sail alongside the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in her first deployment in 2021.

A Dutch warship will participate in the Carrier Strike Group, which will be one of the cornerstones of NATO defence capability in the years ahead.

Welcoming the King and Queen of the Netherlands to Downing Street for the first time, the Prime Minister will thank the Dutch for their help in exposing the campaign of reckless cyber-attacks on political institutions perpetrated by the GRU.

This follows October Council, where she argued alongside Prime Minister Rutte of The Netherlands that we should accelerate the work on further measures, including sanctions, to respond to and deter cyber-attacks.

At today’s working lunch, the Prime Minister will acknowledge that our defence and security cooperation with The Netherlands both bilaterally and through NATO is going from strength to strength, as we continue to negotiate a deep security partnership with the EU post-Brexit.

Our cooperation with our allies makes people around the world safer and more secure, and today The Netherlands will also sign up to the UK’s Call for Action on Modern Slavery – an international commitment to ending the trafficking of vulnerable people into forced labour.

The Prime Minister said:

"The Netherlands is one of our closest allies, as our recent work tackling cyber security threats demonstrates.

"As we leave the European Union, we will continue to stand side by side to defend against threats to the global rules based system.

"As I welcome King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima today, I’m pleased to announce that the Dutch navy will be among the first nations to join the Carrier Strike Group as a sign of our ongoing cooperation."

Ahead of their lunch at Downing Street, the Dutch King and Queen will watch a display of Dutch-UK naval capability from Royal Marines of both countries on the HMS Belfast and the HNLMS Zeeland.