“I believe that 20 percent of the British companies are ready to move out of the country,” Charles Michel told Belgian state broadcaster Radio 1.

“If they do, I would prefer if they came to Belgium, Flanders, Wallonia or Brussels and not, for example, the Netherlands,” Michel said.

By contrast, the president of Belgium’s northern region of Flanders, which exports some 27 billion euros ($30 billion) of goods per year to Britain, called for caution after the Brexit vote.

“We should not antagonize the British,” said Geert Bourgeois, who has pleaded for a soft Brexit in order to limit damage to Flemish exporters.