Sweden's Ann Linde met with David David last month
Ann Linde, Sweden’s EU affairs and trade minister has warned that Britain is talking tough around the table ahead of triggering Article 50 this week.
Britain is likely to benefit from WTO tariffs if the country ploughs ahead with its plan to leave on a deadline of March 29, 2019.
But Sweden says that the country will have to pay up for what it has committed to in the EU budget.
They shouldn’t get as good conditions when they’re on the outside as when they’re on the inside
Ann Linde, Sweden EU affairs minister
And she is calling for the UK to be more flexible amid a new debt crisis engulfing the member states.
In an interview Ms Linde said: “They have been really tough on the UK side.
“That’s a position they have chosen, but it doesn’t make it easier to have constructive discussions when the point is to reach an agreement.”
Donald Tusk visited Sweden last year to garner support for the EU
Sweden is opposed to the UK having access to a free trade option insisting the country will have to pay for its commitments made by previous administrations.
She told Bloomberg: “There’s no doubt about that.
“They shouldn’t get as good conditions when they’re on the outside as when they’re on the inside. The EU will never accept that they only pay for the goodies, but avoid things where we have a shared responsibility.”
And she appears to have hit out at the UK which will no longer be under European legal jurisdiction.
She continued: “The UK has so far been very, very tough that the European Court of Justice shouldn’t be allowed to be the judge in disputes.
“That’s absolutely central to the functioning of the EU, not least when it comes to trade.”
The interview comes at a time when Sweden is facing an electoral shock ahead of next year's elections as a eurosceptic party that wants a referendum on the EU has rocketed up the polls.
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven signs the new Rome declaration yesterday
The Sweden Democrats are projected to take as much as 23.9 per cent of the vote as appetite for the traditionalist parties wanes.
The Swedish general election will be held on or before September 9 2018 to elect the members of the national law-making assembly – the Riksdag.
But current Prime Minister Kjell Stefan Löfven and the leader of the Social Democrats is facing losses at this early stage of the polling.
A YouGov poll showed nearly a quarter of voters say they said they would vote for the Sweden Democrats if an election were held now, meaning its support is at nearly double the level during 2014 general election.
A man protests against 'Brexit' during a pro-Europe demonstration in Rome yesterday
Growing worries about immigration in Sweden, which received a record 160,000 refugees in 2015, have boosted support for the hardline Sweden Democrats, echoing the rise of populist parties across Europe.
The YouGov poll gives the Sweden Democrats 23.9 per cent of support, in the lead ahead of the governing Social Democrats on 22 per cent of support.
Meanwhile, in another poll nationalist Sweden Democrats received 19.2 per cent support in a poll by Novus for Swedish Television, up from 18.5 per cent a month ago.
Shocking images depict violence in Sweden Mon, March 6, 2017
Violence erupts in Sweden
IBL/REX/Shutterstock 1 of 15
Riots in Stockholm, Sweden – 20 Feb 2017
That compares with the 13 per cent they polled in the general election in 2014.
In another poll in daily Dagens Nyheter the right-wing party got 18 per cent of support – up from 17 per cent.
Those two polls put the Sweden Democrats in second place behind the Social Democrats, who form the minority government with the Green Party.