09:56 Sep. 23, 2016
There is a slim chance that the Netherlands will ratify Ukraine-EU Association deal
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte warned that the Netherlands was unlikely to sign off a trade deal between the EU and Ukraine after Dutch voters slammed the proposal in a non-binding referendum earlier this year.
Despite months of diplomatic efforts to come up with a solution, Mr Rutte told Dutch MPs on Thursday: "I think that ultimately we will not ratify [the trade agreement]."
Mr Rutte expressed some optimism that the deal could carry on without the Netherlands, just involving the EU's remaining 27 member states and Ukraine.
Dutch voters voted against the deal by a margin of two-to-one in a referendum in April, albeit on a low turnout, leaving Mr Rutte little room to manoeuvre domestically.