Swedish trade minister Ann Linde warned that small and medium businesses in the country have not yet sufficiently prepared for Britain leaving the European Union without a deal on October 31. A no-deal Brexit could have “big implications” for the country, which enjoys a prosperous trading relationship with the United Kingdom. She also expressed fears for the futures of 100,000 swedes living in Britain and 30,000 Britons living in Sweden after a no deal.
A no-deal Brexit “would have big implications because the UK is one of our biggest trading partners”, Ms Linde told Politico.
“We have 100,000 Swedes living in the UK and we have about 30,000 Brits living in Sweden and if there is no withdrawal agreement, a lot of this will be kind of hanging in the air and we don’t know what would happen.”
But the trade minister’s biggest concern was for her country’s small and medium businesses, which she believes are not fully prepared for Britain quitting the EU without an agreement.
Small exporters who rely on trade with Britain will be the most vulnerable, according to Ms Linde.
“This is something that has been worrying me,” she said.
“The big companies, they have the possibility to analyse what is happening and prepare themselves, but there are too many small and medium-sized companies which have not fully prepared.”
The government has deployed the Swedish National Board of Trade have been deployed in a desperate attempt to ensure companies are prepared.
They have been sent checklists that they need to work through to understand the consequences of a no-deal Brexit.
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The Prime Minister used a Facebook Q&A session to declare Parliament was making it harder for him to secure a good Brexit deal.
He said it was a “terrible kind of collaboration” and the longer it continues only increases the chances Britain will quit the EU without an agreement.
“There’s a terrible collaboration, as it were, going on between people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends,” he said.
“And our European friends are not moving in their willingness to compromise, they’re not compromising at all on the withdrawal agreement even though it’s been thrown out three times, they’re sticking to every letter, every comma of the withdrawal agreement – including the backstop – because they still think Brexit can be blocked in Parliament.
“The awful thing is the longer that goes on, the more likely it is of course that we will be forced to leave with a no-deal Brexit.
“That’s not what I want, it’s not what we’re aiming for but we need our European friends to compromise. The more they think there’s a chance that Brexit can be blocked in parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position.”