Stefan Lofven, Swedish Prime Minister, has cautioned Britain that it cannot have full access to the EU’s single market if it rejected the rules which allow European citizens free access to its labour market.
He said on Thursday in London that Britain could not expect the same treatment when it leaves.
“You cannot have free movement of goods and services and capital and not people.
“The Union doesn’t work like that and there will be differences if they are not members,’’ he said.
Lofven was reacting to a statement by the Britain’s minister charged with negotiating Brexit, that it was pressing for a “unique” deal with the EU to restore sovereignty, reduce immigration and boost trade with the bloc after their split.
He said long before the final pull, European leaders have warned Britain that it cannot cherry pick which rules it follows if it wants to continue to have unfettered access to Europe’s markets.
Lofven said Britain and Europe should work together to make Brexit a success.
“We should make it as easy as possible and as beneficial for both parties as possible.
He said that there is no hurry for negotiations to start, but the differences cannot last forever, as the union has other things to do than think about Brexit.
“We have to make sure we create jobs, meet the climate challenge, we have security questions, the fight against terrorism. That’s what we should focus on.”
Lofven said that for both Sweden and the EU, asylum is one of the biggest challenges for the coming years.
“More than 1 million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe last year with 163,000 seeking asylum in Sweden.
“With new arrivals sleeping in tents, Sweden made a U-turn on decades of generous asylum policies late last year, introducing border controls, temporary resident permits and other tough measures,’’ he said.
Lofven said the tough stance would remain in place until other EU countries shared the burden.
“When we do not have common rules, we have to take the same approach as everyone else.
“We are a big humanitarian donor to the countries close to the conflict in Syria, the Middle East and Africa. We are a big player in the UN,” he said. (Reuters/NAN)