Charlie Weimers, a leading MEP for the Sweden Democrats and vice-chair of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, says a Swedish exit from the European Union must be considered if the EU continues attempts to centralise power.
His call came at a party congress of the national-conservative Sweden Democrats in Västerås, a small city west of Stockholm.
Ahead of next year’s European Parliament elections, Weimers is set to be the leading candidate of the party.
Speaking previously to Brussels Signal, Weimers said he was in favour of remaining within the EU.
While he still holds this position, he said he now believes Sweden should leave the EU – what he termed “Swexit” – if Brussels continues to take more powers for itself.
“At that point, I will demand an immediate Swexit,” Weimers told the gathering.
Weimers, a prominent critic of Brussels, acknowledged concerns within his party but cautioned against an immediate departure.
“EU critics must be in the game if we are to succeed in reversing the trend,” he said.
He did leave the door ajar for a potential exit – if the EU continued to move in a more Euro-federalist direction, particularly if the national veto in the European Council was removed.
A few days ago, the European Parliament approved such a push to continue centralising power at the EU level.
On November 22, led by veteran Euro-federalist Guy Verhofstadt, the Parliament voted in favour of a report that recommends the EU open up a convention to revise the EU Treaties. The report advocates the abolishing of unanimity voting in virtually all cases.
In key areas, EU laws and policies still need a final stamp of approval from all 27 Member States, meaning each nation still has the power of veto.
The European Parliament has approved a fresh Euro-federalist push via changes to the EU Treaty. https://t.co/6xWODq6yyT
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) November 22, 2023
The Sweden Democrats’ youth organisation, Ungsvenskarna, proposed a motion at the congress urging action for a Swexit if the power transfer continues “in an unacceptable way”.
Since 2019, the Sweden Democrats have not actively pursued an exit but have advocated for a comprehensive and independent evaluation of Sweden’s EU membership.
Weimers criticised what he termed the “PC gang” in the Parliament and expressed concern about what he said was the erosion of democracy and Sweden’s diminishing influence within the supranational union.
“Democracy is gradually undermined; citizens have noted the development,” he stated, expressing hope that other political parties would adopt a more sceptical stance toward the EU.
Weimers acknowledged that a majority of Swedes currently support EU membership, citing respect for public opinion as the reason the Sweden Democrats refrain from advocating for an exit.
Looking ahead to the European Parliament elections on June 9 next year, Weimers set an ambitious goal for the Sweden Democrats to become the largest party, aiming to surpass its 15.3 per cent standing in the previous election compared to the Social Democrats’ 23.5 per cent.