Theresa May to visit Sweden and Denmark next week

Theresa May to visit Sweden and Denmark next week
Theresa May at an EU summit last month. Photo: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo
British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to hold talks with her Scandinavian counterparts Stefan Löfven and Lars Løkke Rasmussen next week.

May is expected to meet the Danish leader in Copenhagen and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in Stockholm on Monday, April 9th, said her office 10 Downing Street.

“I can confirm that there's going to be a meeting,” Erik Nises, a spokesperson for Löfven, told The Local.

He said discussions would focus on “our countries' bilateral relations, Brexit, and security issues in the aftermath of the nerve gas attack in Salisbury”.

Sweden expelled one Russian diplomat and Denmark two over the poisoning of a former spy in Salisbury, England, last month. Russia is accused by the United Kingdom of being responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter using the Novichok nerve agent.

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen described the move at the time as an “extraordinary step in coordination with several other European countries”.

“The attempted murder in Salisbury is bigger than a bilateral issue between the United Kingdom and Russia. It another challenge to international protocol from the Russian side, so we must therefore act,” Löfven added.

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Brits in Scandinavia (and Scandinavians in the UK) likely hope that Brexit will also feature high on the agenda for Monday's talks.

Britain is scheduled to formally leave the European Union on March 29th, 2019 – the day known as official “Brexit Day” – however an 18-month transition period will follow to help the “orderly withdrawal” of the UK.

On the subject of citizens rights the two sides have agreed that those EU citizens arriving in the UK and those Britons who head to Sweden, Denmark and elsewhere in the EU before the end of the transition period will benefit from the same rights and guarantees as those who arrived before Brexit.

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However, one of the major complaints is that Brits in Europe have still been given no guarantees over their continued right to freedom of movement throughout the EU after Brexit. Without continued freedom of movement many Britons feel they will effectively be landlocked in their country of residence.

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