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.
Three amendments were selected for debate — from leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford and Conservative Remainer Anna Soubry.
The Speaker has provisionally selected the following amendments to today's #BrexitNextSteps motion:— UK House of Commons (@HouseofCommons) February 14, 2019
(a) — @jeremycorbyn
(i) — @IanBlackfordMP
(e) — @Anna_Soubry
Read all amendments here: https://t.co/GDlfYJLDwL pic.twitter.com/QqIUOu7rsK
In turn, Brussels has continuously repeated it expected the British Parliament to decide on its preferred Brexit deal and path for the future.