Sweden

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Head of State

Prime Minister

King Carl XVI Gustaf

Stefan Löfven (Swedish Social Democratic Party, since 2014)

Population 9,954,420
Size 450,295 km2 (175,896 sq mi)
MEPs 20 (Joined the EU in 1995)
Next legislative election 2022
Presidency of the Council January – June 2023
Last meeting with Theresa May 9 April 2018
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 On 9 September 2018 Sweden held a general election, which produced a hung parliament. Following a 4-month deadlock Stefan Löfven secured a second term as Prime Minister with support of the Greens and the Centre and Liberal parties. The government will still be looking for support from the Left Party, as the coalition parties do not have a majority.

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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