Conceding defeat earlier, Mr Rutte said his government could not ignore “such a great victory”.
He said: “It is clear that the ‘no’ camp has won to an overwhelming extent. The question is whether the rise is enough. If the turnout is above 30 percent, with such a large victory for the ‘no’ camp, then that means we can not simply continue with the ratification.
“We are going to see everything step by step. It will take days, if not weeks.
He added: “It’s a little early to give detailed analysis. But let’s be perfectly clear – the ’no’ camp won. But it remains to be seen whether the threshold has been met. If so, and with such a great victory of the ‘no’ camp, this treaty can not be ratified without more.
“Congratulations to the ‘no’ camp, they managed to get a large part of the electorate behind them. Now we enter a process that certainly will take days – talks in the cabinet, talking in Europe, talking in the room, we will really take our time. I also think that to show respect for the voters we must look very carefully at this. “