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If Brexit talks fail 'it will not be because of the EU': Swedish PM Stefan Löfven

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If Brexit talks fail 'it will not be because of the EU': Swedish PM Stefan Löfven
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
10:59 CET+01:00
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven wants to extend Brexit negotiations with the UK, he told reporters a day before a crucial summit of European Union leaders in Brussels.

"If the process breaks down, it will not be because of the EU," Social Democrat leader Löfven was quoted by Swedish news agency TT as saying on Wednesday.

His British counterpart Theresa May is expected to ask for a short extension to Article 50 on Wednesday and EU leaders will decide at Thursday's summit whether or not to grant her request.

Löfven said that he expected the Tory leader to clearly outline the next steps, but said he would prefer granting an extension in order to avoid Britain crashing out of the EU on March 29th.

"It would mean that the transition would be extremely difficult and it would lay a poor foundation for our future relationship. A no-deal British exit is clearly the worst option."

His comments echoes those made by Sweden's EU Minister Hans Dahlgren in an interview with The Local last week about Brexit and the rights of Brits in Sweden if there's no deal.

The Local's interview with Sweden's EU minister:

"If there is a well argued reason that the UK presents, then I don't think anyone really wants to resist such a request," Dahlgren told The Local at the time.

"The decision needs to be taken by the European Council unanimously, but I think as Donald Tusk said, we should be open for a longer extension if there is an argued reason for doing so. And if they want to remain in the European Union for a longer period they also have to elect members of the European Parliament, so this must be part of the whole plan, because the elections are in May."

"But just to have the process going on and on and on without any plan for what the options on the table would be, that's not very attractive."

The minister told The Local he did not anticipate any further negotiation on the withdrawal agreement during any extension, but said that the EU and UK could begin to negotiate about their future relationship.

READ ALSO: Eight essential websites for Brits in Sweden

 
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