We miss you! Swedish MEP admits smaller states ‘will always rely on Britain’
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The Sweden Democrats MEP lamented his country, as well as others so-called frugal in the northern parts of the European Union, has lost a major voice at the negotiating table in Brussels.
Brexit, he claimed, did not play in favour of Sweden’s best interest but he still congratulated Britons’ decision to leave the EU.
He told Express.co.uk: “I think there are reasons for the UK to be optimistic. From a pure Swedish point of view there are reasons to worry about the EU post-Brexit.
“The UK withdrawal removed a major voice for free trade and free market values within the EU.
“As the corona fund has shown, there is no big country left that Sweden can ally with to block continental power grabs and stop that Sweden’s future will just be of a northern province of the United States of Europe.
“We had the frugal four but that was not enough to stop the Franco-German effort to centralise powers to Brussels.
“So from this point of view, the UK’s departure was not in Sweden’s favour. But there are also reasons to be hopeful.
“One thing that is being re-established in Europe right now is institutional competition.
“And this competition from Brexit Britain will benefit a sclerotic and over-bureaucratic side of the EU.
“I think the EU will never get its act together unless it has to. Unless it is forced.”
He continued: “Thanks to institutional competition we could see a reduction of top-down regulation imposed from Brussels.”
Asked whether he believes Sweden should follow the UK outside of the bloc, Mr Weimers claimed there is little appetite for that in his country at the moment.
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But he hopes the positive results of Brexit will change the mood in Sweden in 10 to 15 years time.
In the meantime, he claimed there are three things countries like Sweden can do to prevent further integration and centralisation of the bloc. One of them, remains relying on the UK.
He said: “I guess there are three factors in play here.
“One is how well we coordinate before late-night Brussels negotiations in the Council.
“That’s the first way of actually influencing the EU.
“The other tool is a referendum lock. Making it impossible for a government to give away powers to Brussels without popular consent.
“And the third one would be institutional competition from the United Kingdom which, if strong enough, would move EU policies in a third direction, towards decentralising powers.
“In a way we do still rely on Britain for change.”
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