Theresa May hailed the Netherlands as one of the UK’s closest allies as she prepared to welcome the country’s king and queen to Downing Street.
The Prime Minister will host King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at Number 10 as part of their state visit to the UK, and will stress that co-operation between the two nations will continue after Brexit.
The visiting royals will also be treated to a military display on the Thames as the Royal Marines and their Dutch counterparts stage a joint exercise.
Dutch warship HNLMS Zeeland will be anchored in the heart of London next to HMS Belfast for the display.
In a sign of the close naval co-operation between the nations, a Dutch warship will escort the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on its first operational deployment in 2021.
At a working lunch in Downing Street, the Prime Minister will thank the Dutch for their help in exposing cyber-attacks on institutions including the Hague-based chemical weapons watchdog by Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency.
“As we leave the European Union, we will continue to stand side by side to defend against threats to the global rules based system.
“As I welcome King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima … I’m pleased to announce that the Dutch navy will be among the first nations to join the Carrier Strike Group as a sign of our ongoing co-operation.”