Published On: Tue, Feb 23rd, 2021

EU warned Sweden ‘could become isolated’ as it may turn to UK over eurozone fears | World | News


Eurosceptic party calling for ‘SWEXIT NOW’ leading polls

Bitter infighting has plagued Brussels in recent weeks, as member states continue to row over the EU’s handling of the coronavirus vaccine rollout. Countries inside the bloc have made their own moves to purchase vaccines, despite European Commission leaders taking on the responsibility of rolling out the jabs throughout the EU. Its inability to back up its promises on COVID-19 vaccines has led eurosceptic rhetoric to rise in the EU, with nations such as Hungary and the Czech Republic unhappy with how the process has been carried out.

This feud has caused significant damage to the bloc’s reputation, and left some to glance over enviously to the UK, which has so far vaccinated around 17.5 million citizens.

Sweden in particular is renowned for its relationship with Britain, and before the UK’s referendum on EU membership, Cathrine Danin – a senior analyst for Stockholm’s leading financial institution Swedbank – claimed her country could become isolated as a result of Brexit.

Sweden and the UK were aligned on around 88 percent of votes between 2009 and 2015, demonstrating the strong bond both countries enjoyed.

One of the biggest factors in the enduring friendship was the eurozone, and how neither nation was inside it – or had plans to join the euro.

EU warned Sweden 'could become isolated' as it may turn to UK over eurozone fears

EU warned Sweden ‘could become isolated’ as it may turn to UK over eurozone fears (Image: GETTY/DI NEWS)

EU news: Boris Johnson alongside Ursula von der Leyen

EU news: Boris Johnson alongside Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)

Ms Danin warned the EU that if the UK were to quit the bloc, Sweden may be forced to move closer to Britain, particularly over fears Brussels may make it join the eurozone.

She said: “Some euro countries prefer deeper integration, while others are more reluctant. Given a UK exit, the former group would gain in strength, which could isolate others, including Sweden.

“This could force Sweden to seek closer relationships with the UK, Norway and possibly Denmark at the expense of the EU.

“In the medium to longer term, therefore, we might expect a more fragmented Europe that will develop at different speeds.”

JUST IN: EU warned successful Brexit ‘could push Sweden to Swexit’ 

Cathrine Danin, from Swedbank

Cathrine Danin, from Swedbank (Image: YOUTUBE)

Ms Danin also detailed that Sweden was different to the UK and Denmark in terms of its relationship with the euro, as it “does not have a formal opt out” from joining the eurozone.

She said that although it was unlikely Sweden would be pushed into adopting the currency, “the pressure would increase if the UK leaves the EU”.

She concluded: “Historically, both Sweden and the UK have leaned towards a more liberal direction, advocating free trade and increased competition, which other countries have opposed.

“In addition, both Sweden and the UK have large financial sectors and they collaborate closely with regard to regulation of the financial markets.

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Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President

Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President (Image: GETTY)

“Without the UK, Sweden would lose its most important ally in the EU and the possibility of getting important issues through the system would diminish.”

Ms Danin also admitted that Brexit could lead to calls for Swexit – Sweden’s version of an EU exit – as it sees the UK outside of the bloc.

This prediction was also offered by Sweden’s then-Deputy Prime Minister Margot Wallstrom, who warned 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.”

How Brexit was covered by the Daily Express

How Brexit was covered by the Daily Express (Image: EXPRESS)

When Brexit was being discussed in the UK, a poll by TNS Sifo in Sweden found that 36 percent would be in favour of Stockholm quitting the EU, while 32 percent were against.

It was also revealed that 90 percent of people also thought Brexit would be a bad thing for the bloc – and in particular Sweden.

Per Tryding, deputy chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Sweden claimed a Brexit vote would make Sweden look differently at the UK, a nation it “holds up as a role model”.

He said “Swedes are a little bit in love with the UK”, but after Brexit “the rules of the game will be unknown”, adding: “What are the real conditions if we do business with or invest in Britain in future?

“That insecurity will make people shy away from investment.”



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