Government’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit
The Swedish Government has assessed that the risk of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement has increased. To address the most serious consequences of a no-deal withdrawal, the Government has taken a range of measures that strengthen Sweden’s preparedness. At a press conference today, Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson and Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren outlined Sweden’s preparations ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
“The Government has prepared for the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in various ways, for example through official information to companies on the new conditions for trade and on measures to assist private individuals. Central government finances are in order, and our national debt is at its lowest level since 1977. This means we are in a strong position for a no-deal scenario,” says Ms Andersson.
International analysts agree that Brexit – regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement or without one – will mean lower growth and less trade for the UK and EU Member States. No withdrawal agreement has yet been approved and the positions of the EU and the UK are far apart on the key issue of the backstop. Despite this, the Government is working – with other EU countries – for an orderly withdrawal.
“We would, of course, like to see an orderly withdrawal. But according to recent statements from the UK Government, the UK intends to leave the EU on 1 November, with or without an agreement. The situation is serious and we need to be well prepared for a hard Brexit too,” says Mr Dahlgren.
The Government has taken measures in many areas. Preparations have been made in close cooperation with government agencies, the European Commission and other EU Member States. However, the Government notes that even if Sweden is well prepared, the negative consequences of a no-deal withdrawal will be unavoidable.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Ms Andersson and Mr Dahlgren outlined what has been done to:
- assist Swedish citizens residing in the UK and British citizens residing in Sweden;
- ensure that the financial markets can continue to operate effectively and that financial stability is not jeopardised by a no-deal withdrawal;
- inform companies and private individuals about the new customs regulations that may be introduced;
- enable Swedish Customs to manage the increased work burden that a no-deal withdrawal would cause;
- manage the new rules that would apply to the fishing industry and air and rail transport;
- ensure medicines supply in the EU.