Sweden set to announce new permits for Brits in event of a no-deal Brexit

Sweden set to announce new permits for Brits in event of a no-deal Brexit
Sweden's EU Minister Hans Dahlgren has previously said the risk of a hard Brexit has increased. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
Sweden is to announce new rules for Brits that would give them a special permit after a no-deal Brexit, the Migration Agency has confirmed.

The announcement is expected to come within days, several sources have told The Local.

“The government intends to issue a regulation granting British citizens the right to a special residence permit in Sweden after the transition period,” said Johanna Måhlén, a spokesperson for the Migration Agency, who did not comment on when the new rules would be presented.

“Exactly what the regulations will look like, we will have to get back to you on, and we are currently referring questions about this to the government.”

A spokesperson for Sweden's justice ministry told The Local that new regulations were being prepared, but would not be drawn on details.

Sweden has already guaranteed a one-year 'grace period' if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal on October 31st. During this year all Brits already living in the country would retain their rights to live, work, and obtain healthcare and any other benefits in Sweden without needing a residence permit.

But it has long been unclear what would happen after these 12 months.

If nothing changes Brits without Swedish citizenship would be treated as third-country nationals, but the government recently updated its Brexit information site to say work is under way to review “the legal possibilities for continuing to live and work in Sweden even after the exception has ceased to apply”.

The Local has repeatedly questioned the Swedish government on what Brits' status would be after the grace period, pushing for clarity on whether current regulations around work and residence permits would apply.

Some of the concerns raised by many of our readers include pensioners who are uncertain if they will meet the requirements to stay, students with worries about their access to free tuition, and employees with concerns that their jobs will make them ineligible for work permits due to not meeting the conditions.

Campaigners such as the Brits in Sweden Facebook group have also been asking decision-makers for answers. A document sent out in August said that “the message from politicians is also far from satisfactory. Hans Dahlgren, Sweden's EU Minister, said in March 2019 that Sweden at the time could not guarantee Brits' future [in Sweden] in the event of a no-deal Brexit”, citing The Local's interview with the minister. 

When The Local spoke to EU Minister Dahlgren for a brief update in August, he said “it is serious that the risk of a hard Brexit has increased” but did at the time not have any more information on how Sweden planned to treat British citizens living in Sweden once the one-year grace period was over.

READ MORE: The Local's full Brexit coverage

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