Löfven on Brexit: It's good negotiations can begin
Sweden's prime minister has given his reaction after the UK triggered the official Brexit process with the delivery of the letter invoking Article 50 to the European Council in Brussels.
Stefan Löfven welcomed the start of negotiations. He said:"The UK has been a close and valuable partner in the EU. We regret the UK's decision to leave the EU, but it's good that the negotiation process can now begin after quite a long waiting period."
Sweden is a close trading partner with the EU and Stefan Löfven appreciated the conciliatory tone in Theresa May's Brexit letter. He said:"I welcome the constructive approach in Prime Minister May's letter. I would like to see orderly and results-oriented negotiations, and want our relationship with the UK to be as positive and mutually beneficial as possible even after the withdrawal. This is important for the UK, the EU and for Sweden."
There are around 10,000 Brits living in Sweden and 100,000 Swedes in the UK and Stefan Löfven hopes their futures will be made secure in the negotiations, set to last two years.
"Sweden's key priorities are a good financial agreement where the UK pays for commitments made, and a good solution for the EU citizens who have exercised their right to settle in the UK, and vice versa," he said. "In the future relationship between the EU and the UK, we want trade relations to be as favourable as possible, and we want effective cooperation to continue in other areas, including security."