Please Not Sweden Too!

Gott nytt år! – Or maybe not if you’re a Remainer.  And perhaps if your eye caught this report in some of the British papers this morning:

https://www.universalpersonality.com/eu-faces-swexit-threat-after-sweden-warned-if-brexit-happens-we-want-to-leave/.

‘Swexit’ would be a tragedy, I believe, for Sweden, Europe and the world. And it would be more than slightly annoying for me personally, having gone to all the trouble of acquiring Swedish citizenship in order (in part) to retain my wider European identity and privileges. I was keen to become Swedish; but not narrowly  Swedish, in the same way that Farage, Johnson and Co. have forced me to be narrowly British since midnight (CET) last night. If that’s the way Sweden goes, where is there left for a friendly European to take refuge?

Most of the evidence presented in these reports for Sweden’s – and in particular the right-wing populist  Sverigedemokraterna’s  – anti-Europeanism is old hat; and indeed was picked up more than four years ago in a piece I wrote for the LRB blog, and republished here: https://bernardjporter.com/2016/04/22/brexit-swexit/. I thought then that Britain’s subsequent struggle to achieve her ‘independence’ from the EU would act as a warning rather than an encouragement for my Swedish compatriots; and the treatment that Johnson, Farage, Gove and the rest have received in the Swedish press over the past twelve months has rather confirmed that hope. (Remember that Swedes were brought up on Monty Python, so they’ve seen it before.) Brexit appears to have made us a laughing stock on the Continent. I still hope that this might hold Sweden back from the cliff edge.

But until we’ve seen much more recent opinion polls we can’t know for sure. I’ll be looking out for them, and will report back. In the meantime, again, gott nytt år!

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4 Responses to Please Not Sweden Too!

  1. At the end of the article by ‘Admin’ – which reads as if it has been poorly translated from the Swedish – a recent poll is quoted. It shows that 57% of Swedes continue to support EU membership. Though down a couple of percentage points from an earlier poll, that level of support should provide comfort to those, like yourself, Bernard, who fear Swexit.
    All the best for 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dankon. Feliĉan Novjaron! (Thank you – Happy New Year!) As an Esperanto speaker, I believe in breaking down barriers, not building them up. There’s a lot wrong with the EU, as I know from 3 years living in France (2012-2015), but I voted “don’t know” in the referendum, which in my opinion should never have happened; it’s like having a dog and barking yourself. They say a great feature of our democracy is that if we don’t like what our government decides we can kick them out after a maximum of 5 years – but if ‘the people’ get it wrong, how do we kick them out? Anyway 17.4 million folk were never a majority of the British People in spite of their four and a half year rant that they were, supported by most of the media. I can’t believe that we’re in a better place now than we were before. We’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neil SHADDICK says:

    “Where is there left for a friendly European to take refuge?” you ask: New Zealand, in my opinion

    Liked by 1 person

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