EU faces Swexit threat after Sweden warned ‘if Brexit happens, we want to leave!’
EU: Expert discusses possible exit of Sweden and Italy
The UK and the EU are preparing for a new chapter after agreeing a free trade agreement, setting the terms for Brussels’ and London’s future relationship. Ambassadors from the 27 EU member states approved the deal yesterday, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his relief He said: “I welcomed the importance of the UK/EU Agreement as a new starting point for our relationship, between sovereign equals “We looked forward to the formal ratification of the agreement and to working together on shared priorities, such as tackling climate change.”
As Brexit reaches its conclusion, the EU still faces warnings of euroscepticism in other European countries.
In 2016, two months before the UK voted to leave the EU, a poll in Sweden showed that the country could be inspired by Brexit.
The survey by Sifo showed that 36 percent of Swedes would want to follow the UK out of the EU in the event of a Leave vote.
The poll was tight however, as 32 percent said they would still want to stay in the EU.
Goran von Sydow, a political scientist and researcher at the Swedish Institute for European Political Studies, warned that Brexit could raise questions about leaving the EU in Sweden.
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He said: “If there’s going to be a ‘Brexit’, then this would raise so many questions related to the impact on the EU and the Swedish membership.”
Mr von Sydow added that the UK is seen as a traditional ally of Sweden in the EU, as both countries are non-eurozone members.
He added that Brexit would make EU membership more difficult and more “lonely” for non-eurozone countries like Sweden.
An analysis by VoteWatchEurope in April 2016 supported the researcher’s view, saying that the biggest individual losers if Britain votes to leave would be the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, who are the UK’s “closest allies” in the Council.
It said the countries would “lose an important partner if Brexit occurred”.
Swedish MEP Peter Lundgren recently warned that Sweden could follow the UK out of the EU.
Speaking in the European Parliament in September, he said: “I wonder as a Swedish citizen standing here today, why should we join in and pay for all of this?
“Why should Sweden borrow money and lend money to other EU countries without getting anything in return?
“We can’t cope. You have just as many problems as Sweden does and the longer you insist with this United States of Europe there will be more and more referendums going against being members of this club.”
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Mr Lundgren is a member of the Sweden Democrats, a nationalist and right-wing populist political party.
Another poll in June showed that Swedish voters have a less favourable view of the EU than they did at the beginning of 2020.
The survey results came amid an increasingly fractious time for Sweden and the EU as finance ministers debated a landmark proposal for a jointly financed coronavirus recovery fund.
The proportion of Swedes in favour of EU membership declined to 57.2 percent in a survey by Statistics Sweden, from 60.1 percent in November.
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