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Swexit threat: EU warned 'lots of reasons' for Sweden to be worried as exit talk escalated

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Eurosceptic party calling for ‘SWEXIT NOW’ leading polls

Britain finally secured its mandate to “take back control” of its sovereignty, ensuring it can now trade and flex its muscles away from the constrains of Brussels. It appears the UK’s decision on Brexit has already paid fruitfully, as it carries out a continent-leading programme to vaccinate Britons against the coronavirus. While the UK opted to quickly move to secure precious jabs from pharmaceutical companies, the EU dithered, before eventually agreeing on its own rollout plan, and which vaccines to source.

But a combination of slow decision-making and issues with production has seen the EU’s rollout programme severely criticised from figures within Brussels.

Nations such as the Czech Republic and Hungary have been forced to plead with other countries to get vaccines to help it control rising infection numbers.

With the EU appearing to lag way behind the UK, euroscepticism has began to rise again.

Critics have pinpointed the likes of Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, and French President Emmanuel Macron as figures behind the vaccine crisis.

Swexit threat: EU warned 'lots of reasons' for Sweden to be worried as exit talk escalated

Swexit threat: EU warned ‘lots of reasons’ for Sweden to be worried as exit talk escalated (Image: YOUTUBE/GETTY)

Ulrica Schenström

Ulrica Schenström (Image: YOUTUBE)

And before Brexit, a number of key voices in Sweden told the bloc that calls for other member states to quit the bloc could gather momentum.

Among these were Ulrica Schenström, a Moderate Party member and former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s state secretary, who noted how strained Sweden’s relationship with the EU could become should the UK quit in 2016.

Ms Schenström highlighted that the UK was a key voice for non-eurozone member states – such as Sweden – and that without them Stockholm could struggle to have an influence.

According to The Local, she said: “There are lots of reasons for Sweden to be worried. Our partnership with the UK, which like us is outside the euro but inside the EU, is really important for us.

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Cathrine Danin, from Swedbank, was also critical

Cathrine Danin, from Swedbank, was also critical (Image: YOUTUBE)

“Britain has done a lot of the heavy lifting for us non-euro countries.”

She added: “If the British leave, euroscepticism in Sweden will grow. I’m worried we’ll end up in a Swexit debate.”

Sweden opted out of joining the euro in a 2003 referendum, with a poll in 2015 showing that support to enter the eurozone had dwindled to just 15 percent.

Fears that Sweden may be forced into the single currency have persisted, and pre-Brexit leading financial institution Swedbank said calls to join it would only increase if the UK left the EU.

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Swexit threat: EU warned 'lots of reasons' for Sweden to be worried as exit talk escalated

Swexit threat: EU warned ‘lots of reasons’ for Sweden to be worried as exit talk escalated (Image: GETTY)

It added that “the interests of non-euro members will have less weight” without the UK standing by its side.

Cathrine Danin, an analyst from the bank, also sparked fears for Sweden that its economy would be “under threat”, as the UK was the fourth largest export market for Stockholm.

Other experts warned Swexit could be on the cards, including Goran von Sydow, a political scientist and researcher at the Swedish Institute for European Political Studies.

He argued that if Sweden was forced into the eurozone, it would only deepen anti-Brussels feeling.

Swexit threat: EU warned 'lots of reasons' for Sweden to be worried as exit talk escalated

Swexit threat: EU warned ‘lots of reasons’ for Sweden to be worried as exit talk escalated (Image: GETTY)

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.”

Swedish MEP Peter Lundgren also warned that Sweden could follow the UK out of the EU, telling the European Parliament last year: “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.”

How Daily Express covered Brexit

How Daily Express covered Brexit (Image: EXPRESS)

In 2016 there was an appetite for Swexit, as a poll by TNS Sifo found that 36 percent would be in favour of quitting the EU, while 32 percent were against.

Similarly, nine in 10 people also felt that the UK leaving the EU would be a bad thing to happen to the bloc – and for Sweden.

Sweden’s then-Deputy Prime Minister Margot Wallstrom warned at the time a vote for Brexit “could break up the entire union”.

Speaking on the BBC’s This Week’s World, the Swedish Social Democratic Party member said: “That might affect other EU member states that will say, ‘Well, if they can leave, maybe we should also have referendums, and maybe we should also leave.”



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