• Sweden's news in English

Sweden warns UK over risks of EU exit

23 Jan 2013, 12:20

Published: 23 Jan 2013 12:20 GMT+01:00

In a series of tweets, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stressed the importance of European Union integration and said Europe needed to stick together and speak with one voice.

"Soon we Europeans will be only seven percent of global population. We can only promote our values and protect our interests if we work together," Bildt wrote on Twitter.

He quoted Cameron's own reference to the weight Britain's voice carries as a member of the EU, where the British leader said: "We are more powerful in Washington, in Beijing, in Delhi because we are a powerful player in the European Union."

Bildt responded "Yes, so far...," seen as a warning that Britain risked losing that influence if it walked away from the 27-member bloc.

Sweden considers Britain a strong ally in the EU, seeing eye-to-eye on a number of key issues. Both countries have chosen to remain outside the eurozone, and both are in favour of sweeping EU budget cuts.

Sweden's EU Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson said on Twitter: "We cant play pick and choose with the EUs future. Its [sic] about committed collaboration."

"I want a useful union not a noncommittal network," she added.

Cameron on Wednesday promised to hold a referendum by the end of 2017 giving British people the choice of staying in or leaving the EU if his party wins the next election.

Story continues below…

AFP/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

13:06 January 23, 2013 by skatty
Somebody should say to Carl Bildt that there would not be two world wars if Europeans could work together!

Europeans could never work together.
13:51 January 23, 2013 by RobinHood
I'm sure the Brits wish Mr Bildt, Ms Ohlsson and the Swedish people the best of luck in whatever direction the EU takes in future; whether it be golden prosperity for all, or the waste, economic collapse, rampant corruption and mass unemployment the mismanaged EU project has achieved so far.

And I'm equally sure Mr Bildt, Miss Ohlsson and the Swedish people will wish the Brits the best of luck in whatever direction they elect to take in their referendum in 2017.
14:07 January 23, 2013 by Hisingen
The only Europeans who can work together are those in Brussels, working together to form the EUSSR and raising their own standards of living to obscene levels. Cameron is right in that there is far too much attention being paid to bringing every country in the EU to the same standard, when clearly there are vast differences between them all.

Further, in the ECHR there are un-elected lawyers attempting to set laws that take precedence over national laws. That in itself is too far-reaching.

The inital form of the EU - EFTA would have been a far better setting, dealing - as it did - with trading. Now the eurocrats are wanting a bigger and bigger say in how countries should be run, and wanting an ever bigger budget to do so, without ever producing bookkeeping to show how that budget is being spent.
14:07 January 23, 2013 by BackpackerKev
I guess this guy is panicking for the fact, if UK leave the EU, Sweden doesn't have a big brother to follow at every whim. But on the plus side, for Uk and swedish relations, its another meeting or 100 at the expense of the swedish tax payer.
14:28 January 23, 2013 by jvtx3232
That is the exact wrongest reaction by Carl Bildt. Instead of complaining about Cameron's proposed EU referendum, Sweden should applaud the effort and work toward scheduling an analogous EU referendum of their own. Let the people speak!
14:56 January 23, 2013 by Mib
The EU was created (in peoples minds) to remove the barriers to trade with Europe. Since that time, it has grown into a big fat cat that gets involved in almost every aspect of our lives...some good, some bad. These massive changes were never put to the British people to vote on. It's a mixture of huge migration combined with lack of resources, a weak UK Government who seems to follow every EU rule or misinterpret them to the detriment to the population, a Human Rights law that allows criminals to stay in the country despite not having a British passport and being a massive threat to UK citizens and much more.

The future of Europe is where there are several levels where countries can choose their own level that suits their citizens.The EU is a corrupt organisation which have not had their accounts signed off for several years, bureaucratic, wasting money and even wanting inflation busting rises despite a credit crunch and austerity in most of Europe. People feel deatched from the EU...do not understand how it works and the EU MPs make no effort to change that. Ignorance allows them to pass laws without much fighting. I believe most people in the EU would want some say in how their country is integrated into the EU. But the EU are AFRAID of DEMOCRACY and that is what is at the heart of the problem.
16:36 January 23, 2013 by Rick 1
I listened to SVT1 this morning and became enraged when Birgitta Ohlsson, described my party, UKIP, as "höger extremister". That is a terrible slur and lie, we are not we are a libertarian party, who values freedom, liberty and fairness.

It is highly irresponsible for a Swedish government minister to lie so openly to the Swedish viewers. Would she describe a Swedish party who fights for liberty, freedom and fairness for Sweden also "höger extremister"?
17:17 January 23, 2013 by deenforcer
What kind of influence does the UK have now anyway? No much! They couldn't even extradite a terrorist to the US without the EU said so, is that the kind of influence mr. Bildt was talking about here? France can't even send back the illegal gypsies to eastern europe, because the EU wouldn't let it, is that the kind of influence we all want here?

"Soon we Europeans will be only seven percent of global population. We can only promote our values and protect our interests if we work together," Bildt wrote on Twitter." Work together is one thing, surrender your sovereignty is another, why europe is getting stupid all of a sudden?

Somebody please tell this fool that it's not the number of people that gives you the power and influence, it's money and technology! Case and point, Israel vs arab world, USA vs China and India, 330 million americans vs 2.5 billion Chinesindians, which one is stronger and more powerful?
18:13 January 23, 2013 by Steve Potts
The people of the UK voted to join a Common Market NOT a European superstate. Time to get some powers back to an elected UK parliament. Because there is a trade inbalance between the EU and the UK in favour of the EU it will happen or the UK will leave and quickly get a free trade agreement. It's a win win situation.
21:57 January 23, 2013 by jvtx3232
"Would she describe a Swedish party who fights for liberty, freedom and fairness for Sweden also "höger extremister"?"

Rick 1: Unfortunately that is par for the course for extreme left politically-correct militants. They are already calling the Sverigedemokraterna "extreme right" in Sweden.

It's just one example of the key words or code words used by the militantly politically correct in order to try to shut down debate and cast their opponents as people who are not worthy of inclusion in the debate.

"Right-wing extremist," "Islamophobe," "homophobe," etc. etc. ad nauseum are the kind of meaningless intellectually dishonest political neologisms they are wont to shamelessly cast about.
22:02 January 23, 2013 by Will1
So many ignorant people here. Least of all @Hisingen, the ECHR is not part of the EU, do some reading before you make such comments.

Instead of criticizing those who are for progress and for a unified, strong EU Federation you should put that energy towards ensuring it is done with transparency, protecting the rights of every EU citizen no matter what state they are from and most of all insure that those corrupt individuals who would like to subvert this process for personal gains never get the chance.

Even if the UK has a referendum and just over 50% want to get out of EU, it is wishful thinking that it is ever going to happen. The UK has a lot more to loose getting out than staying in, and Cameron knows it, this whole referendum is just a PR ploy to get the votes from the ignorant and uneducated who may be swayed by political rethoric.
22:05 January 23, 2013 by B.olesen
@rick 1 - so what is else is new about Swedish politicians openly lying? Is their mouth moving?

Carl Bildt - what European solidarity at the EU ideals forced upon us? The only solidarity is within the elitists, and if Europe is shrinking, it's not for lack of mass EU enforced immigration.
22:23 January 23, 2013 by riose
To put this into context, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Estonia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia just approved the Tobin Tax.
07:26 January 24, 2013 by deenforcer
The way I see it, if you want to free your nation from this money, power and sovereignty sucking machine called the "EU", then you have to do it the old fashion way, there are no other ways around it, period! Forget about the ballots, forget about the referendum or negotiation or whatever, they simply don't allow it. Just do it the old fashion way, remember, no pain go gain. The same goes to the right-wing parties accross europe.
10:45 January 24, 2013 by Kronaboy
Naturally Sweden is worried, if the UK were to withdraw how many UK nationals would lose their right to reside, I would say several hundred and how many Swedish nationals who have taken advantage of UKs open and fair employment and social security provisions would lose their right to reside, from my rough estimate I would say about 100:1. I was talking to a young Swedish lad of Somali origin the other day, his mother realising due to the disgraceful levels of nepotism and discrimination that she had no chance of gaining employment in Sweden; she used her Swedish passport and migrated to the UK where she trained in the medical profession and worked for several years in the NHS earning a substantial income. I then asked this lad how many of his fellow Somali's had migrated from UK to Sweden, his answer was apart from him none, I then asked how many of his fellow Somali's that he personally knew had migrated from Sweden to UK, he replied hundreds. The way I figure it, if the Nepotism and discrimination we UK nationals are subject to in Sweden is typical of the EU as a whole then good riddance to bad rubbish, lets kick out the 3million + EU nationals we have in the UK and reduce our unemployment level to 0.
Today's headlines
Hijab mural painted over with hair at Swedish mall
The centre's management insisted that hair (right) was painted over the hijab (left). Photo: Pia Jönsson/Facebook

Hijab mural painted over with hair at Swedish mall

6 hours ago

A shopping centre in Sweden forced a youth group it had commissioned to paint a mural to cover up a hijab they had put on a woman by concealing it under a haircut.

Accent with bizarre 'yes' is 'sexiest in Sweden'
Just breathe in if you mean yes. Photo: Mötesplatsen.se

Accent with bizarre 'yes' is 'sexiest in Sweden'

13 hours ago

Their word for ‘yes’ is limited to a pursing of the lips and a slight intake of breath, but according to a new survey Norrlanders have the sexiest accent in Sweden.

Sweden Democrats eye power after border move
Jimmie Åkesson at the Sweden Democrat's national day in Lund. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Sweden Democrats eye power after border move

17 hours ago

The leader of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats on Saturday hailed the Nordic country's dramatic tightening of asylum policy, arguing that it would open the way for his party to join a future right-wing government.

14,000 illegal immigrants disappear without trace
Swedish police officers patrolling Stockholm. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

14,000 illegal immigrants disappear without trace

1 day ago

More than 14,000 foreign nationals told to leave Sweden have instead gone underground, with police saying there is little they can do to enforce deportation orders.

Ahoy! Swede builds giant pirate ship in his garden
This picture of the boat has more than 14,700 likes on Facebook. Photo: Private

Ahoy! Swede builds giant pirate ship in his garden

1 day ago

A Swedish man found Facebook fame after pictures of a giant pirate ship he built for his children when he was on sick leave from work went viral on Friday.

'She's a forerunner and inspiration for startups'
Niklas Zennström, Jane Walerud and Jessica Stark. Photo: SUP46

'She's a forerunner and inspiration for startups'

1 day ago

A US-born entrepreneur who has helped pave the way for women in tech has joined the ranks of some of Sweden's top innovators and businesspeople in a Swedish startup hall of fame.

Swedish court: 'We cannot ban Pirate Bay'
Bredbandsbolaget was not compelled to block the Swedish file-sharing site, Pirate Bay. Vilhelm Stokstad / TT

Swedish court: 'We cannot ban Pirate Bay'

1 day ago

In a landmark decision, a Swedish court on Friday ruled that the country's internet service providers cannot be forced to block controversial Swedish file-sharing site Pirate Bay.

Police: we can't protect Sweden from terrorists
Swedish police guarding the government building in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Police: we can't protect Sweden from terrorists

1 day ago

After Sweden raised its terror threat alert to record high levels last week, more and more police officers on the beat warn that their weapons are not good enough to prevent a potential terror attack.

Swedish school: 'We have not banned Lucia'
Children celebrating Lucia in Stockholm. Photo: Jack Mikrut/TT

Swedish school: 'We have not banned Lucia'

1 day ago

A Swedish nursery school has insisted it is not banning a beloved December tradition after a Facebook message posted by a furious parent went viral.

Winter in Sweden presented by Kungsberget
Stockholm's secret ski resort: Kungsberget
Catch air at the Kungsberget snowpark. File photo: Kungsberget

Stockholm's secret ski resort: Kungsberget

1 day ago

Not everyone enjoys 8-hour car trips or expensive train tickets just to hit the slopes. That's why so many Stockholmers opt for Kungsberget – the majestic mountain just two hours away. The Local finds out more.

Sponsored Article
11 reasons students pick Stockholm University
POLL: Swedes back new asylum rules
Sponsored Article
Top five UK weekend getaways from Sweden
Five weirdest Christmas attacks on Sweden's famous straw goat
Sponsored Article
After Paris: 'The war is not only against Isis'
Blog updates

25 November

So What Does An Ambassador Do? (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I know that my mum is super proud that I’m an Ambassador. But if you asked..." READ »


20 November

Editor’s blog, November 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, It has been a long and busy week for The Local as we reported on..." READ »

Five myths about Sweden's refugees
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm solved a startup’s housing crisis
How did this missing Swedish cat turn up in southern France?
Sponsored Article
Swedish researchers find Ice Age 'missing link'
Sponsored Article
Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness
Sponsored Article
Beaches, bikes, and buds: studying in Malmö
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
People-watching: November 25th
What do Swedes want for Christmas?
GUIDE: How to help refugees if you live in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Sweden must combat extremist 'mirage'
Mystery ice circle in Swedish river
IN PICTURES: New royal winter snaps of Sweden's Princess Estelle
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
Stockholm film festival's top movies
Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: the new epicentre of global leadership
Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
‘Food choices in Sweden destroy forests in Asia’
People-watching: November 20th-22nd
Swedish King calls for bathtub ban
Analysis & Opinion
Why you should care about Sweden raising its terror threat level
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Stockholm's best international bars
Is this the best warning sign ever?
Why are more Swedes getting fat?
Sweden's tribute to Paris victims
What is Sweden's sexiest name?
VIDEO: Madonna's emotional tribute to Paris victims at Stockholm gig
Nine of the merriest Swedish Christmas fairs
Sweden cashes in on new kronor banknotes
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: