Boris meets with Dutch PM Rutte

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands in 10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to Downing Street on the 77th anniversary of Operation Market Garden – the allied operation in the Netherlands during the Second World War.

They noted the strength of the UK-Dutch relationship in a number of areas, including trade and defence. They highlighted the work the UK and the Netherlands are doing together as part of the Joint Expeditionary Force and the UK-led Carrier Strike Group.

The Prime Minister outlined the details of this week’s announcement of the new ‘AUKUS’ defence alliance, and stressed that the alliance will be an important force for stability in the Indo-Pacific.

The leaders discussed the current situation in Afghanistan. They agreed on the need for the international community to come together to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the region and establish conditions which will allow our countries to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan.

They talked about how the two nations could work together bilaterally on things like securing safe passage and future diplomatic representation.

They also agreed on the need to make concrete process on tackling climate change ahead of the UK-hosted COP26 Summit. In particular the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Rutte stressed the need to support developing countries to achieve green growth.

The Prime Minister outlined the UK’s concerns with the current implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the strain it was placing on the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

The leaders agreed on the importance of urgently finding a way forward on the issue.

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