What happens in the event of a no-deal withdrawal?


The main scenario in the Brexit process remains an orderly withdrawal based on the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement. If this is the case, it will take place on the first day of the month following ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement. However, in view of the ongoing approval process in the United Kingdom parliament, there is a clear risk of a no-deal withdrawal. Efforts to prepare for such an outcome are a necessary part of the work concerning Brexit.

If the UK leaves the European Union without a withdrawal agreement having been approved, the country will, in formal and practical terms, become a third country in relation to the EU. If this takes place, it would do so according to the timetable that applies at midnight on 31 October.

Moreover, the UK will leave the EU on 1 June if the country is a member of the EU at the time of the elections to the European Parliament between 23 and 26 May and does not hold its own elections.  

A no-deal withdrawal means there will be no transition period and EU law will therefore cease to apply in relation to the UK when the country leaves the EU. This scenario means, among other things, that trade with the UK will be regulated on the basis of applicable international principles and rules from, for example, the World Trade Organisation. The EU will apply third country rules to the UK in relation to, for example, customs controls and checks that EU requirements on goods are met. This may involve delays in transportation. In this scenario, there is no agreement on special arrangements for EU citizens in the UK or UK citizens in the EU.

Contingency planning to handle a no-deal

The Government, in cooperation with relevant agencies, is conducting contingency planning to address the serious consequences that would arise if the UK were to leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement. This concerns identifying, planning and carrying out the measures required to deal with the effects of such a scenario. The purpose of these measures is to handle serious consequences during a limited period. It is therefore not a question of dealing with all of the consequences or replacing a withdrawal agreement.

Regulatory amendments in Swedish statutes to deal with Brexit

An important part of preparing for a no-deal withdrawal of the United Kingdom is implementing necessary regulatory amendments in Swedish statutes.

Regulatory amendments to deal with Brexit

A lot being done by the EU

A considerable share of the preparatory efforts and contingency planning is taking place within the EU.  The European Commission has a particularly important role to play by proposing new legislation, providing guidance in relevant areas and coordinating planning and implementation of measures, both with regard to preparations and contingency planning. At the Commission, responsibility lies with the Secretariat-General, which handles the overall coordination of the Commission’s work. 

On its website, the European Commission has provided information on its work to prepare for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The page includes a list of all the regulatory changes that have been proposed to handle the withdrawal, technical announcements on the legal and practical consequences and links to all Member States’ Brexit information. 

Brexit prepardness

Everyone must prepare

All concerned actors need to prepare for Brexit. In addition to the EU, the Member States, the Government and government agencies, this also includes organisations, the business sector and others. Everyone is urged to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

For those citizens who are particularly affected, namely Swedish and other EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in Sweden and other EU Member States, information and links are available here:

What does Brexit mean for the citizens who are particularly affected?

Here are further information and links for those companies affected – those that trade with the UK or are otherwise affected by the UK’s participation in the single market.

What does Brexit mean for businesses?

Government is assessing developments continuously

In view of the uncertainty concerning the future relationship with the UK, it is currently difficult to provide any precise details.

The Swedish Government is assessing developments continuously and will in its communications with Swedish citizens and all actors in society provide the information that can be provided.