|Head of State
|King Carl XVI Gustaf
Stefan Löfven (Swedish Social Democratic Party, since 2014)
|Size||450,295 km2 (175,896 sq mi)|
|MEPs||20 (Joined the EU in 1995)|
|Next legislative election||September 2019|
|Presidency of the Council||January – June 2023|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||10 August 2016 on the phone|
|Brexit priorities||The UK is Sweden’s fourth biggest trading partner and the two countries have often worked together on issues such as free trade and EU reforms.
The unity of the EU27 will be one of Sweden’s main priorities.
Sweden wants to ensure that the UK leaving the EU will not lead an increase of its contributions to the EU budget. The Swedish government wants the UK to pay a financial bill that reflects its commitments to the EU and to lower the overall EU budget once the UK’s payments are finalised.
The Government wants to secure the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British people in the EU as soon as possible.
|What Mr Löfven said on Brexit||23 August 2016
“But if the UK wants some time to think about the situation, this will also give EU countries some time… On the other hand, you hear about plans in the UK to, for example, lower corporate taxes considerably. If they, during this time, begin that kind of race, that will make discussions more difficult. Aggressiveness from Britain in those types of issues — that doesn’t improve the relationship.”
Minister for EU affairs and trade Ann Linde on 29 November 2016
“For us, as close as possible relations with the UK is what we prefer. But it is more important that the EU as such is functioning at its absolute best and effective way. If the UK will ask to let go of freedom of movement of persons, not pay to the EU budget and not follow the EU court, that will not be a feasible way to conduct negotiations.”
Regarding rights of EU citizens in the UK on 15 December 2016
“It’s a clear ambition that Britain does not want to complicate life for all these people . . . so I think that was a very positive message.”
17 February 2017
“I have said from the start that I think this is going to be very tough, to do all these things within two years,” Money “will be a big issue. Because there are some already promises given, commitments from the U.K. – not least pensions for EU staff.”
“You first negotiate on how to make the exit, and then you have the other discussions.”
29 March 2017
“I would like to see orderly and results-oriented negotiations, and want our relationship with the U.K. to be as positive and mutually beneficial as possible even after the withdrawal. This is important for the U.K., the EU and for Sweden.”
|Sweden’s priorities||The Government was facing a no-confidence vote and a possible election following a data leak scandal whereby sensitive data was outsourced by the transport agency to other countries. Interior Minister Anders Ygeman and Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson resigned over the scandal, while Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist faces a no-confidence vote in September.
On the EU level, the government aims to create a social Europe with jobs and growth, setting ambitious climate, energy and environmental goals, and a solidarity-based refugee and migration policy.
Due to the refugee crisis, Sweden has also seen a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment across the country.
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