Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will arrive in the UK tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd October) for their first State Visit.
The visit will showcase the breadth and depth of the relationship between the UK and The Netherlands, including through trade, innovation and security.
The State Visit is an excellent opportunity to celebrate and deepen our connections. Our relationship may be changing but we are confident that the Netherlands and the UK will continue to have a close relationship and work together to tackle global issues.
The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will also use the opportunity to meet with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
The UK and The Netherlands have a rich, long history between our people and of course our Royal Families. So it is a pleasure to welcome His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to the United Kingdom, reflecting our enduring commitment to this partnership.
Together we work to further peace and security across the globe, tackling threats from terrorism and cyber and promoting values of freedom. I look forward to celebrating our connections and shared successes with Foreign Minister Stef Blok, looking at ensuring this continues for years to come.
From the 17th Century to the present day, trade relations between our countries continue to flourish; The Netherlands is the UK’s third largest trading partner. Only this year, Heineken announced an investment of £44m – creating over 1,000 jobs in the UK – while fellow Dutch company NewCold has invested £100m in a new distribution centre in Wakefield, adding a further 70 jobs in the next two years to the current team of 200.
DIT Minister for Investment Graham Stuart and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Europe, Andrew Mitchell, will be hosting the UK-Netherlands Innovation Showcase at Mansion House on Wednesday. As world leaders in Global Innovation, the showcase will celebrate Dutch and British collaboration in finding innovative solutions for the Grand Challenges of tomorrow, including clean growth, solutions for the aging society, AI and data and the future of mobility.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said:
The Dutch State Visit is an opportunity to celebrate the UK and the Netherlands’ more than 400-year long trading heritage. As the UK forges an independent trade policy for the first time in more than four decades, my international economic department is working with the Dutch – our North Sea Partners – towards a bright trading future too.
The Innovation Showcase will demonstrate the huge opportunities for our economies – two of the world’s most innovative – to collaborate even further, creating jobs and prosperity for generations to come.
As part of the State Visit Their Majesties will visit HMS Belfast and the visiting Dutch Offshore Patrol Vessel, HNLMS Zeeland, moored alongside. This visit will celebrate 45 years of cooperation between the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and the Royal Marines, culminating with a joint on-water capability demonstration on the Thames.
The Royal Marines and Royal Netherlands Marines have long served together on operations across the globe – most recently offering humanitarian support to islands affected by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.
Speaking ahead of the visit to HMS Belfast, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Our forces have worked closely with the Netherlands amphibious forces for more than 45 years, demonstrating world-class military integration. Right now, our Royal Marines are working alongside their Dutch counterparts in Norway as part of the Defence Arctic Strategy, which shows our deep-shared commitment to European security. This State Visit allows us to take stock and celebrate an enduring alliance with one of our closest defence partners.
Their Majesties will also visit Pop Brixton, a pioneering space in South London that supports independent businesses from Brixton and Lambeth, and meet with Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street on Wednesday (24th October).