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UK ambassador in Sweden seeks to calm Brexit fears

Published onsdag 29 mars kl 06.00
UK ambassador: We are happy to guarantee Swedes can stay in UK
(5:22 min)
UK ambassador David Cairns wants to put a positive spin on the coming negotiations.
UK ambassador David Cairns wants to put a positive spin on the coming negotiations. Credit: Fokus

UK ambassador David Cairns has told Radio Sweden that he is confident that the rights of both Swedes in the UK and Brits in Sweden will be safeguarded shortly after Article 50 is triggered on Wednesday.

Radio Sweden met Cairns last week at the ‘Life after Brexit’ briefing in Stockholm.

It's definitely something we want to agree as soon as possible once they've started," he said. "My sense is that that's one of the areas where there's quite bit of good consensus around the EU 27. Some areas are complicated but it's something that’s the right thing to do and we should do as soon as we can."

At the event Cairns, together with Sweden’s ambassador to the UK, Torbjörn Sohlström, and a panel of experts briefed a mixed audience of Swedish and British people on what will happen once Article 50 is triggered on Wednesday.

The triggering of Article 50 will formally begin the process of Britain withdrawing from the European Union.

Cairns said he expected Britain to continue to have a strong relationship with Sweden both during and after the negotiations.

“Sweden has traditionally been a big ally for the UK within the EU. They’re also clear that they want this to be a clam, orderly transition to the new relationship. It’s not what Sweden wanted but this is what the British people have voted for.”

But other experts present were less positive.

Anna Stellinger, General Director of the National Board of Trade said that whether the UK struck a trade deal with the EU resembling that Norway, Canada, Ukraine, or Turkey, or simply traded under World Trade Organisation rules, Sweden’s trade with the UK would be damaged.

“Our general conclusion, which is not at all a political conclusion, just a technical conclusion, is that regardless of the model, compared to what we have today, the relationship between Sweden and Britain will be worse."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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