British nationals in the Netherlands should not rush to swap their passports for Dutch ones despite the Brexit vote, Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan has told a meeting of city expats.
‘As Dutch people, not just as Amsterdam, we will do all we can to make sure there is as little change as possible,’ Van der Laan said. Applying for a Dutch passport is ‘not necessary at this point’, the mayor said, pointing out that everyone can apply for a permanent residency permit after spending five years in the country.’
Around 200 British nationals attended a special meeting called by the mayor on Monday afternoon to address their concerns about Britain’s pending withdrawal from the EU. Some 15,000 of the estimated 50,000 British nationals in the Netherlands live in the Dutch capital.
Van der Laan also said the city will not actively lobby to attract London companies to set up in Amsterdam. ‘We are responsible people and we will not try to take advantage of a friend in need,’ the mayor said.
However, if companies decide to leave Britain, Amsterdam will do its best to get them to move to the Dutch capital, Van der Laan said.
The expat centre in Amsterdam has set up a special Brexit information point to answer questions and provide information about residency and nationality rights for British nationals.
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