Sweden, UK and the EU: Managing post-Brexit Relations and Defining a new Agenda for European Competitiveness



David Henig | European Centre for International Political Economy

There is an urgent need to move on from the shock of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, and all the melodrama in the past two years over what form Brexit should take, and focus on building a new relationship between the UK and EU including Member States such as Sweden. Trade and political relationships face change, but there is much that can be done to make sure that negative effects are temporary, and that we find a stable future path.

Both the EU and the UK wish to pursue a deep economic relationship, maintaining trade links insofar as possible in line with the stated red lines of both. The relationship will only be decided with many years of talking, but in this paper we suggest a structure that builds on existing EU practice of putting in place a web of agreements with third countries, anchored by something like an Association Agreement.

Part of this will be dependent on the way the EU’s competitiveness agenda develops. Sweden and the UK achieved much together as members of the EU, in progressing their shared agenda to pursue an open, competitive Europe, with a deepening single market and trade agreements increasing in number and ambition. It is now down to Sweden to work with others across the EU to maintain this agenda, against some strong influences which suggest the development of a more closed EU, a defensive trade policy and dirigiste industrial policy.

Sweden UK EU

[To read the original paper, click here.]

Copyright © 2019 ECIPE. All rights reserved.