The Netherlands has announced it will resign from the European Union’s single market after the bloc announced its decision to bar the country from the bloc’s common market.
The Dutch government, which has been trying to negotiate a free trade deal with the bloc since the Brexit referendum, said on Friday that it would resign.
“It’s been a tough and challenging period for us,” Foreign Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in a statement.
“We have worked hard to reach agreement on many aspects of our future relationship with the European Community.
But the situation has become more complicated because of the Brexit decision.”
Dijsselsbloecke said the EU had decided to “reduce the common market to a single market, which is incompatible with our values and our history”.
“It is regrettable that we have to leave the EU and that we cannot continue to trade with the EU in full,” he said.
The Netherlands joined the EU as a free-trade nation in 1975.
Its accession to the single market took place in 2019.
The bloc has been accused of imposing a “deregulation” and “regulatory overreach” on the Netherlands, where many of its laws are based.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in January that the EU would cut its budget by $1.5bn (£1.1bn) in 2019-20.
“I am not going to resign as a Dutch government minister,” Rutte told reporters on January 26.
“We’re not leaving, but we will have to accept that we’re not going,” he added.
Dutch President Mark Rutten said in March that the bloc had a “deep-seated culture of exclusion” and that it had become a “benevolent” bloc.
“The Netherlands will not be a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2020,” Rutten told the Volkskrant newspaper.
“There is no doubt that the common economic policy of the EU, which gives us access to the European single market for all products and services, is not working.”
Dutch Chancellor Christian Kerns told a Dutch television station on Tuesday that the decision to leave “had nothing to do with Brexit”.
“I have no intention to resign,” Kerns said.
“But I will have the final say.”