UK will need 'thousands' more customs officers after Brexit, Dutch MP warns
Netherlands plans to boost customs staff by 750 as reality of Britain's EU departure sinks in
The Dutch government plans to hire at least 750 new customs agents in preparation for Britain's exit from the European Union.

The Dutch parliament's Brexit rapporteur, Pieter Omtzigt, who had recommended the move, said both sides of the English Channel had been slow to wake up to the reality that Britain was on course to leave the EU in 14 months' time.
Related: Staying in the EU customs union after Brexit would be disastrous for Britain | Henry Newman Continue reading...

Dutch cow poo overload causes an environmental stink
Dairy farms in the Netherlands are producing so much dung they can't get rid of it safely. Now the WWF is calling for a 40% cut in herd numbers to protect the environment

There is a dirty stench emanating from the Dutch dairy sector. The industry is, by most measures, hugely successful: despite the small size of the country, it is the fifth largest exporter of dairy and has a much-touted reputation as the tiny country that feeds the world.
But there's a catch: the nation's 1.8 million cows are producing so much manure that there isn't enough space to get rid of it safely.
Related: From stools to fuels: the street lamp that runs on dog do
Related: Cows are loving, intelligent and kind – so should we still eat them? Continue reading...

Dutch heritage official sparks row over Belgium coastline
Netherlands' equivalent of National Trust calls the Flemish coast a disaster – igniting spat
Relations between Belgium and the Netherlands are generally warm, with the neighbouring states sharing a navy and even, in part, a language. But decidedly unflattering comments about the Belgian coastline by the Natuurmonumenten, the Dutch version of the National Trust, have proven to be the cause of some irritation on the Belgian side of the border – and perhaps also a little self-reflection.
"The Flemish coast is a disaster. It's one giant boulevard. That's why all those Belgians are coming here," Bjørn van den Boom, head of public affairs at the state-sponsored conservation organisation, told the daily newspaper De Volkskrant.
Related: Moules frites with a difference: Belgium cooks up reefs scheme to save beaches
Our clientele is the old rich families, the richest Dutch people, German people, and some of the richest French Continue reading...

Eurostar to launch London-Amsterdam direct service in April
Tickets to go on sale in February for new rail service expected to challenge airlines

Eurostar direct rail services between London and Amsterdam will begin on 4 April, the company has announced, in an eagerly awaited move expected to spark a price war with airlines.
Tickets for the two daily trains – starting from £35 one way – will go on sale on 20 February. The services will allow passengers to travel from St Pancras station in central London direct to the Netherlands in three to four hours. Continue reading...

British group wins right to take Brexit case to European court
Britons living in EU can take case to ECJ arguing existing rights cannot be removed after Brexit

British citizens seeking to retain their EU citizenship rights after Brexit have won a landmark legal ruling that will result in their case being heard in the European court of justice.

Five British nationals settled in the Netherlands had asked the court in Amsterdam to refer their case to the ECJ last month on the grounds that their existing rights could not be removed because of the UK referendum to leave the EU. The judge ruled on Wednesday that the case could be referred.

Citizens' rights are the rights and protections offered to all EU citizens, including free movement and residence, equal treatment and a wide range of other rights under EU law regarding work, education, social security and health.
Related: Why I helped bring the Dutch case over Britons' EU rights | Jolyon Maugham Continue reading...

Dutch gangster famed for kidnap of Heineken boss on trial for murder
Willem Holleeder a ‘cold, vulgar' killer, despite celebrity image he has cultivated, says prosecutor
A Dutch gangland boss who gained notoriety after the kidnapping of a Heineken beer tycoon in the 1980s has been described by prosecutors as a "cold, vulgar" killer as he stands trial for five counts of murder, one count of manslaughter and two counts of attempted murder.

A secure courtroom in Amsterdam, known as De Bunker, heard that Willem Holleeder was "the best-known Dutch product after cheese" in criminal circles. Continue reading...

Dutch divided over law against insulting the king
Government in the Netherlands split over attempts to scrap its lèse-majesté law
It may be one of Europe's most liberal states, but in the Netherlands reverence for the monarchy appears hard to kick.

A divide has emerged in the Dutch coalition government over an attempt by one of the ruling parties to scrap a law that makes insulting King Willem-Alexander a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
Related: 12 things you never knew about the Dutch royal family Continue reading...

Ghosts in the machine: a night at the 'hotel' where films become dreams
At a pop-up guesthouse, Sleepcinemahotel, Palme d'Or winning Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has installed beds – and a hypnotic 120-hour ‘film' to nod off to
It's late at night. I'm not sure exactly when, because my phone has been off for hours and I've long since lost track of time. From my perch, I can see a giant circular screen which seems to be floating in midair like a mesmerising moon. Dreamy images flit across its surface and cast a faint glow into the darkness, which is permeated with sounds of breaking waves and gently creaking wood. I could be on a ship, sailing across the sea. Or, perhaps, back in my mother's womb, viewing the outside world via a mysterious portal.
Where I actually am is in a large hall inside the Beurs-World Trade Center in Rotterdam. For this year's Rotterdam film festival, the space has been converted into the Sleepcinemahotel, an installation-cum-guest house conceived by Thai film-maker and multimedia artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In films such as Tropical Malady, Syndromes and a Century and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (which won the Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes film festival), Weerasethakul blurs the distinction between sleep and wakefulness, reality and dream. This tendency culminates in his most recent feature, Cemetery of Splendour, whose characters, stricken by a sleeping sickness, roam a dreamed reality that provides respite from the oppression of their waking present. Continue reading...

Shell doubles profits but faces multibillion-dollar Dutch quake bill
Damage claims over tremors linked to Dutch gasfields clouds strong earnings for 2017
Shell more than doubled its profits last year thanks to rising oil prices, but has admitted it faces a multibillion-dollar bill for several years to compensate householders affected by earthquakes linked to its gasfield in the Netherlands.
The quake bill warning came as Shell reported strong earnings of $15.8bn for 2017, up 119% on 2016, on a current cost of supplies basis, the measure most closely watched.
Related: Gas field earthquakes put Netherlands' biggest firms on extraction notice Continue reading...

Dutch urge Gove to spell out post-Brexit fishing industry plans
UK environment secretary told by Dutch fisheries minister to set out proposals after department missed Christmas white paper deadline
The Dutch government has called on Michael Gove to provide a clear vision for the European fishing industry for when the UK leaves the EU's common fisheries policy, amid growing insecurity in communities on both sides of the Channel.

Carola Schouten, the Netherlands' fisheries minister, said her country's fleet, one of the largest in the EU, needed certainty about the future, but that she had yet to see any template from the British environment secretary for how a new arrangement would work.
Related: The transition is toxic for both Brexiters and remainers | Hugo Dixon Continue reading...

Don't say cheese: Amsterdam turns against English usage in shops
Appeal court upholds closure order against cheese shop as use of English implies it is for tourists not locals
Their country's grip of the English language has long been a source of national pride for the Dutch. But some argue a line has to be drawn somewhere and, for the municipality of Amsterdam, that appears to be with the growing use of Shakespeare's tongue by shops, restaurants and even high-end cheese retailers.

The Dutch capital last year launched an initiative to curb the number of shops targeting tourists in its historic centre in its latest attempt to reclaim it for residents. In a court case involving the Amsterdam Cheese company – which has a store on Damrak avenue, a partially filled in canal in the centre – the dominant use of English has been highlighted as a problem. Continue reading...

Dutch call on Indonesia to investigate reports of mass graves and war wrecks
Reports that human remains buried in unmarked mass graves on eastern Java after illegal salvage of second world war shipwrecks
The Netherlands has pressed Indonesia to investigate reports that the remains of Dutch sailors from illegally salvaged second world war shipwrecks off its coast were dumped in a mass grave.

The request comes after reports earlier this month that human remains were recovered from three Dutch shipwrecks, sunk during the decisive 1942 Battle of the Java Sea.
Related: The world's biggest grave robbery: Asia's disappearing WWII shipwrecks
Related: Sunken Australian warship HMAS Perth ransacked by illegal scavengers Continue reading...

Dutch museum row reopens uneasy debate about colonial legacy
Mauritshuis, home of Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring, removes bust of slave-trader founder
A debate over the Netherlands' colonial heritage burst into the open this week after one of the country's leading museums came under fire for removing a bust of its founder from its lobby.
The Mauritshuis in The Hague, home to national treasures including Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring and Carel Fabritius's The Goldfinch, said the decision was part of a reorganisation of its collection to reflect a "growing discussion in society" about the country's slave-trading past. Continue reading...

World's first electric container barges to sail from European ports this summer
Dubbed the ‘Tesla of the canals', the unmanned vessels will operate on Dutch and Belgian waterways, vastly reducing diesel vehicles and emissions
The world's first fully electric, emission-free and potentially crewless container barges are to operate from the ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam from this summer.
The vessels, designed to fit beneath bridges as they transport their goods around the inland waterways of Belgium and the Netherlands, are expected to vastly reduce the use of diesel-powered trucks for moving freight. Continue reading...

Gas field earthquakes put Netherlands' biggest firms on extraction notice
Government tells 200 companies they have four years to stop sourcing gas from Groningen field after increasingly significant earthquakes
Two hundred of the Netherlands' biggest companies have been told by their government to stop sourcing fuel from a major Dutch gas field within four years following a series of increasingly significant earthquakes.
Extraction from the Groningen field, one of Europe's richest sources of gas, is operated in a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, but has been capped in recent years by ministers due to seismic activity in the area. Continue reading...

Bodies of second world war sailors in Java sea 'dumped in mass grave'
Illegal metal scavengers accused of disposing of remains from British and Dutch warships
The remains of second world war sailors who died on British and Dutch warships in the Java sea were secretly dumped in an anonymous mass grave by modern-day metal scavengers as they rifled through wrecks illegally lifted from the sea bed, it has been claimed.

Related: The world's biggest grave robbery: Asia's disappearing WWII shipwrecks Continue reading...

The new Dutch royal knows how to make a name for himself | Rebecca Nicholson
Hugo Klynstra, the illegitimate son of Prince Carlos, has won his legal battle and made the royals, briefly, interesting
It can be hard to muster interest in modern royal families, what with all the propriety, protocol and dreary hereditary privilege, though I did find myself briefly rooting for newcomer Meghan Markle last week, in light of the embarrassingly budget Ukip girlfriend racist text scandal, which played out like a Channel 5 version of House of Cards.
Still, the Dutch have come up trumps with the news that Hugo Klynstra is to become His Royal Highness Prince Carlos Hugo Roderik Sybren de Bourbon de Parme, after a long legal battle in which his father, Prince Carlos, romantically claimed that Hugo was the result of a "no-strings-attached" relationship with a promise of no family entanglement. Sure, Hugo may have daddy issues for life, but at least the whole sorry saga is more intriguing than the cost of Prince William's new buzzcut. Continue reading...

Europe must wake up to the drastic consequences of a hard Brexit | Joris LuyendijkThe Netherlands knows what it will lose if the UK crashes out. It is less than the price of giving Britain a sweet deal
Because it is such a riveting clown show with new crazy episodes almost every day, Europeans can be forgiven for ignoring the fact that Brexit is going to hurt them too. But as the date of Britain's departure comes closer and Theresa May's government continues its kamikaze policy of demanding the politically unthinkable from the EU, it is time for Europeans to wake and begin preparing for the worst.
On Thursday the Dutch government published a report drawn up by the consultancy firm KPMG analysing the consequences of a "no-deal" Brexit in which the UK leaves the EU without an agreement on 29 March 2019. Here are the practical implications and cold numbers behind the hot-headed rhetoric about no deal with the EU being "better than a bad deal" for Britain: should the UK "crash" out of the EU by late March 2019 the Dutch companies trading with the UK will have to secure a total of no less than 4.2m exporting and 750,000 importing licences. If by this time both states have a functioning customs system in place – a big if for this consistently incompetent UK government – costs for companies are between €80 and €130. That is per licence.
A hard Brexit could make every Dutch person poorer by an average of €1,000
Related: Through humility and understanding, we can still stop Brexit | Andrew Adonis Continue reading...

Deadly gales halt trains and flights across north-west Europe
Storm lashes Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and parts of UK, uprooting power lines and trees, and killing at least nine people
Violent gales have battered north-west Europe, killing at least nine people, toppling trees and trucks, bringing down power lines, grounding aircraft and halting road and rail traffic across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
All long-distance train services were cancelled in Germany after the Netherlands bore the early brunt of the second major winter storm this month, with Schiphol airport in Amsterdam suspending all traffic for two hours and closing two of its three departure halls as tiles flew off the terminal building. Continue reading...

Why I helped bring the Dutch case over Britons' EU rights | Jolyon MaughamThis could transform the Brexit fate of UK citizens abroad, and also the negotiations as a whole
Spare a thought for the million-odd UK citizens living in Europe.
The Conservative manifesto of 2015 promised to scrap the rules barring those who had lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting. Still, long-term British expats were denied the chance to vote in the EU referendum the following year.
Related: Through humility and understanding, we can still stop Brexit | Andrew Adonis Continue reading...