Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren and Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Anna Hallberg ahead of the UK withdrawal from the EU

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The UK left the EU on 1 February. What happens now and what does the transition period that begins entail? What form will future relations between the EU and the UK take? Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren and Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Anna Hallberg discuss some of the details in an interview.

  • Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren and Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Anna Hallberg  standing next to each other.

    Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren and Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Anna Hallberg.

    Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices

  • Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren.

    Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren.

    Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices

  • Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Anna Hallberg.

    Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Anna Hallberg.

    Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices

The UK will leave the EU at midnight on 31 January. What is your view on this?

Hans Dahlgren, Minister for EU Affairs:
“They have taken a democratic decision and now it’s a matter of making the best of the situation. We have a great deal of contact with the UK. We buy and sell a lot of goods from one another. There are many Swedes who work and study there, and we have many UK nationals living in Sweden. We need to maintain a good relationship moving ahead, and that’s what we will focus on in the coming year.”

Anna Hallberg, Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs:
“Now we really have to look to the future. The UK is one of our most important trading partners. We have 30 000 companies that trade daily with the UK. This affects jobs and welfare throughout the country. Now we really have to make sure we have a really good basis to maintain good trade relations with the UK in the future.”

After the UK leaves the EU, there will be a transition period until 31 December 2020. What does this entail?

Hans Dahlgren, Minister for EU Affairs:
“Throughout the year, up until 31 December, essentially the same conditions will apply as when the UK was a member. This means that they are still in the single market. They are still in the customs union. The same regulations apply regarding travel and visits. The only difference is that they will no longer have any influence over what we decide in the EU. They cannot be involved with the European Council, the European Court of Justice or the European Parliament. But this only applies this year, and we must make the best possible use of this time to reach a new relationship and new agreements with the UK.” 

Anna Hallberg, Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs:
“The Government gives priority to jobs and welfare, and so the UK represents an important partner for us when it comes to creating jobs and welfare among all the 30 000 companies that trade with the UK. For us, it is important to reach a good trade agreement and to prioritise issues such as trade in goods and services, and that we can continue our successful research cooperation with the UK.”