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Brexit monster campaign galvanises Dutch businesses

The Dutch government’s furry blue monster campaign has prompted businesses to better prepare for Brexit

Concerned that too few businesses are aware of the consequences of trading with Britain if it leaves without a deal on 29 March, the Dutch government has launched a public information campaign including newspaper ads and radio jingles telling businesses they cannot afford to be taken by surprise by Brexit’s consequences.

The muppet-style monster who is the feature of the campaign, was launched by Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok on social media this week, shown in an image sprawled unhelpfully across the minister’s desk with the warning: “make sure Brexit doesn’t sit – or lie – in your way.”

It has been successful at spurring companies in the Netherlands to take Brexit seriously, according to the Dutch government, also shown in images physically frustrating Dutch businesses by getting in the way of trucks.

The campaign has prompted 10 times more companies to take an official ‘Brexit scan’, the foreign affairs ministry said. On the day the campaign launched, 6832 companies assessed the impact on their businesses of Britain’s forthcoming departure from the EU on the brexitloket.nl website, compared with 691 the previous day.

Nearly 70,000 Dutch companies have taken the scan since the site was set up in March last year, including 11,000 in the past week, since the foreign minister’s tweet.

Foreign ministry spokesman Dirk-Jan Vermeij said: “This is all to raise awareness. We have said this a lot in debates and now we are saying it with humour."

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