10:45 GMT +325 April 2019
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    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meets Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte for a bilateral talks at 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.

    UK 'Waning' Nation, 'Too Small' to Stand on Its Own – Dutch PM on Brexit

    © AP Photo / Frank Augstein
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    Mark Rutte has dismissed the idea, upheld by "some British parliamentarians," that the European Union wants to trap them in "a permanent limbo."

    The Dutch Prime Minister said in a recent interview that the fast-approaching Brexit will weaken the UK.

    "It is already weakening, it is a waning country compared to two or three years ago. It is going to become an economy of middling size in the Atlantic Ocean. It is neither the US nor the EU. It is too small to appear on the world stage on its own," Rutte argued.  

    According to the Dutch leader, Brussels is interested in next stage of the UK-EU relations, which it wants commenced as soon as possible.

    "But given May's efforts to renegotiate the Irish safeguard, I do not know how this will end and if we can avoid a hard Brexit. It would be devastating for the UK," Rutte said.

    On 14 February, UK lawmakers joined yet another debate in the House of Commons — to discuss Brexit progress and hold a symbolic vote on the PM Theresa May's efforts to secure changes to the Withdrawal Agreement and its Irish backstop provision.

    READ MORE: UK Parliament Holds Debate on Brexit Plan as Decisive Vote Draws Near (VIDEO)

    Three amendments were selected for debate — from leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford and Conservative Remainer Anna Soubry.

    In turn, Brussels has continuously repeated it expected the British Parliament to decide on its preferred Brexit deal and path for the future.

    Related:

    More EU is Not the Answer to Problems, Closer Union is 'No Goal' – Dutch PM
    Dutch Gov't in Talks With Over 250 UK-Based Firms Amid Brexit Impasse - Reports
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    Brexit, European Union, Mark Rutte, Europe, United Kingdom, Netherlands
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