Prime Minister Stefan Löfven on the results of the referendum in the United Kingdom

It is now clear that the people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. We respect their decision, but it is a serious one - primarily for the people of the UK, who had a great deal to gain by remaining, but also for the EU.

Sweden will now lose an important partner in the EU. We have often pursued issues together, not least important trade issues. The UK will remain an important partner for Sweden in its new role outside the EU.

The Swedish Government's starting point is responsibility for Sweden. What we need now is stability and a long-term approach. The fact that the UK is leaving the EU will have major repercussions. But we remain convinced of the importance of European cooperation. Our need for effective European cooperation has never been greater. This is particularly true for Sweden, which is a small, export-dependent country. The EU offers us greater opportunities to resolve the problems of our time, but it also enhances the conditions for more jobs and higher growth. And it safeguards peace and security.

At the same time, the debate and campaigning in the run-up to the referendum should serve as a wake-up call for Europe. They elicited stark polarisation and disturbing nationalism. This shows that EU cooperation must be developed and improved.

We must be able to demonstrate that our cooperation is actually capable of tackling our common challenges in the way that people expect it to. We must have fair conditions in the European labour
market. Climate and environmental challenges know no borders. And all EU Member States must take responsibility for the refugees fleeing to Europe.

Our cooperation must always inspire the confidence of our peoples. We must build an EU for the people, by the people, with the people – an EU that delivers in people's everyday lives.