AP NEWS

Blue monster backs Dutch Brexit information campaign

February 14, 2019
This image made available by the Netherlands Foreign Ministry on Thursday Feb. 14, 2019, shows Foreign Minister Stef Blok and a hairy blue Brexit monster on a desk in The Hague, Netherlands. The Dutch government has enlisted a new ally in its battle to prepare businesses for the impending departure of Britain from the European Union, a hairy blue Brexit monster. A tweet posted Thursday on Foreign Minister Stef Blok's official Twitter feed shows the monster, wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with the word Brexit in red capital letters, lying across a desk. (Aad Meijer, Netherlands Foreign Ministry via AP)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government enlisted a new ally Thursday in its campaign to prepare businesses for the impending departure of Britain from the European Union — a hairy blue Brexit monster.

A tweet posted on Foreign Minister Stef Blok’s official Twitter feed showed the monster, wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with the word Brexit in red capital letters, lying across a desk.

The tweet has links to the government’s online Brexit portal and a Brexit Impact Scan that helps inform businesses about the possible consequences when Britain leaves the European Union on March 29.

“This is all to raise awareness,” said foreign ministry spokesman Dirk-Jan Vermeij. “We have said this a lot in debates and now we are saying it with humor.”

The monster quickly scared up plenty of action.

Vermeij said that by mid-afternoon some 4,000 businesses had done the impact scan on Thursday alone.

Prior to the monster’s intervention, the scan had attracted about 63,000 businesses in around a year.

The online scan is a website that takes business owners through the range of possible changes they will have to master depending on the terms under which Britain completes its divorce from the EU.

It gives tailored advice about new procedures likely to come into play for importers and exporters such as customs procedures, possible new tariffs and taxes and other issues.