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Britain enjoys a reputation for global influence, military power and financial strength. But is Brexit changing the way the rest of Europe views the UK?

For some there is a sense of disappointment.

Dr Norbert Rottgen, a senior German MP, told me: “The British voice in international affairs will certainly be diminished.”

Pieter Omtzigt, a Dutch MP, said he “would expect a country that has run an empire to be able to do planning one, two or five years ahead”.

And there are those who still see greatness.

Professor Michael Ambuhl, a former top Swiss diplomat, told me: “I cannot imagine that their future is not bright.”

I am going on a journey to four European countries to find out if people’s opinion of Britain is being affected by Brexit.

The Netherlands

This country is one of Britain’s closest allies in Europe and a vital trading partner.

The UK is the third-biggest destination for Dutch exports, with Rotterdam port a key gateway for goods travelling to and from the UK.

Britain is still seen as an economic power. But concern about red tape at once frictionless borders hangs heavy at the port.

Any disruption to the flow of goods with Britain could impact on produce heading elsewhere.

In The Hague there’s an acceptance of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, but disbelief at how the British government has handled preparations for Brexit.

The failure to finalise a withdrawal agreement is causing a headache for politicians as they struggle to get ready in case of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Omtzigt, the chief Brexit planner in the Dutch parliament, said: “You would expect a country that has run an empire to be able to do planning one, two or five years ahead because that is what you did when you had an empire.

“And now, before a crucial day, we are only two months less and still haven’t taken a decision – let alone do implementation.” Read more

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