NEW DATA: Sweden has ordered 1,100 Brits to leave since Brexit

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
NEW DATA: Sweden has ordered 1,100 Brits to leave since Brexit
Photo: Hollie Adams/AFP

Sweden has ordered 1,100 Brits to leave the country since the end of the Brexit transition period, the highest figure in the EU, new data shows.


New data from the EU statistical office Eurostat shows that 2,630 UK citizens were ordered to leave countries in the EU and EEA in 2021 and 2022, with Sweden responsible for 41 percent of these – 1,100.

Of these, 115 were aged 14 and under, 10 aged between 14 and 17, and 20 aged 17-18. 350 were aged between 18-34, and 595 were aged over 35.

These figures include both people ordered to leave due to mistakes or lacking immigration paperwork, such as those who failed to apply for post-Brexit residence status to secure their rights to live in Sweden under EU law by the deadline, as well as those who were deported for other reasons, such as recently released prisoners.

Sweden's figures are the highest in the EU – the Netherlands follows with 720 orders to leave since the end of the transition period on January 1st, 2021, Malta ordered 135 UK citizens to leave and France 115, despite the latter country's large population of UK citizens.

EEA countries Norway and Switzerland, which have separate Brexit agreements with the UK, issued 455 and 125 departure orders respectively, according to Eurostat data.

Spain, which hosts the biggest UK community in the EU, has not ordered any Briton to leave the country since Brexit, and nor did Italy – at least according to the Eurostat data.

The countries did not provide data on the reasons for the expulsions, and it is not possible to compare the numbers to pre-Brexit figures because Brits at that time were not counted as third country nationals.


Eurostat data on the number of non-EU citizens returned to their country of origin following an order to leave indicate that a large number of people who receive orders to leave do actually leave the country. According to separate Eurostat data, 800 of the 1,100 British citizens ordered to leave Sweden in 2021 and 2022 are reported as having left Sweden.

The Local first reported on this story in January this year, before figures were released for the end of 2022.

In the run up to the Brexit deadline for residency a leading group for Brits in Sweden warned that authorities in the country were not doing enough to reach UK citizens to make them aware of the date.

At the end of last year, The Local covered the story of Stockholm chef Stuart Philpott, who only learned that he should have applied for post-Brexit residence shortly before he was frogmarched onto a return flight by Swedish border police, as well as the story of the story of Gregory, who was deported from Sweden to the UK last year after over 20 years in the country.

We also covered the story of 74-year-old Kathleen Poole, who arrived in Sweden under EU rules 18 years ago. Poole suffers from Alzheimer's and receives around-the-clock treatment in a care home, and has now been ordered to leave Sweden as she lost her right to residence following Brexit.


British newspaper The Guardian reports that on March 31st, Poole's family were informed by the British Embassy in Stockholm that Swedish police had been in contact, “pressing” it to find a care home in the UK.

The Guardian wrote that an official at the embassy told the Pooles “it is impossible to say how long it will take but when we have found a care home willing to receive your mum, the police will give us a travel date and we will have to issue an emergency passport".

In early February, The Local alerted Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard to Sweden's high deportation figures, which she in an interview with us described as "complete news" to her. She promised to look into them, saying that "we want them [Brits] here".

We have since then repeatedly reached out to her office for further comments.


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