New Dutch government vows to introduce 'strictest-ever' asylum policy outside EU rules

New Dutch government vows to introduce 'strictest-ever' asylum policy outside EU rules

The incoming Dutch government says it intends to opt out of EU rules to bring in the country’s “strictest-ever” asylum rules.

The incoming coalition, led by the right-wing PVV party, said it would introduce strict new rules for asylum seekers and stronger border controls, setting up a potential show-down with Brussels.

"An opt out clause for European asylum and migration policies will be submitted as soon as possible to the European Commission," the right-wing coalition said.

Nationalist PVV leader Geert Wilders said the plan would make the Netherlands less attractive for asylum seekers, adding that “people in Africa and the Middle East will start thinking they might be better off elsewhere”.

The Dutch coalition parties said labour migration would also be curbed, and admittance of foreign students to Dutch universities will become stricter.

Workers from outside the EU who do not have specific knowledge or expertise would need a work permit and recruiting agencies will face stricter regulation.

The coalition said it would also strive to limit free movement for people from countries joining the EU in the future.

The new government also plans 14 billion euros in spending cuts through to 2028, including with development aid, government salaries, and the public broadcaster earmarked for cuts.

It added that it would make it legally binding to spend at least two per cent of Dutch gross domestic product on defence, in line with NATO agreements.

The deal brings together Wilders' PVV with outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte's centre-right VVD, the new NSC party and farmers' protest party BBB in a coalition that will have a strong majority of 88 seats in the 150-seat Lower House.

With the broad agreement reached, an intermediary will now be tasked with forming the cabinet of ministers, a process that is expected to take at least another month.

Wilders, who has been accused by critics of Islamophobia over his outspoken views, vowed in March to forego the prime minister's role in order to get his prospective government partners to the negotiating table.

He has not yet announced who he will put forward for the top job.