AMSTERDAM, June 24 (Reuters) - Britain’s vote to leave the European Union appears “irreversible”, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday, adding that it should spur on the bloc further to deal with dissatisfaction in other countries as well.
“The dissatisfaction you see in Britain is also present in other countries, including my own,” he told reporters as he left The Hague for a summit of European leaders in Brussels. “This has to be a stimulus for more reform, more welfare.”
Rutte, whose Liberal Party is running second in polls to the anti-EU Freedom Party of populist Geert Wilders, said that the withdrawal process would be a lengthy one, and that much would depend on how the British government reacted to the result.
“First the British have to decide when they want to start the process of leaving,” he said. “The process of leading might not even start until after the German elections next year,” he added. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Alison Williams)