Hard-line stance will not benefit UK, says Sweden
STOCKHOLM: Taking a hard line in Brexit negotiations will hurt the United Kingdom.
That’s the message from Sweden, one of Britain’s closest allies in the European Union (EU), just days before Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 and starts negotiations to leave the bloc after more than four decades.
Ann Linde, Sweden’s EU affairs and trade minister and the woman representing Scandinavia’s biggest economy in Brexit talks, said the UK’s negotiating tactics were damaging its chances of getting a good deal.
She also said the EU was showing a surprising degree of unity in its approach.
“They have been really tough on the UK side,” said Linde.
Sweden had adopted a relatively conciliatory stance towards the UK after Britons voted to leave the EU in June.
The country stands to lose a lot if talks break down since the UK is its third biggest export market outside the Nordic region, behind Germany and the United States.
But Sweden’s government warns that the UK can’t expect a deal that provides the benefits other members enjoy without also accepting some costs. What’s more, any agreement can’t be allowed to leave Britain in a better position than remaining EU members, said Linde. Bloomberg