Swedish premier wants UK to stay in European Union - but shares concerns


The Swedish prime minister said he hoped the UK would not vote to leave the European Union despite David Cameron raising some "legitimate" concerns about the relationship with Brussels.

Stefan Lofven spoke as he sat down with Mr Cameron for talks at 10 Downing Street focused on the PM's renegotiation effort and ways to ease the pressures of migration.

"Of course we would like the country to stay within the European Union," he said - adding that London and Stockholm were "like minded in many issues".

"We have been similar on issues like free trade, investment, budget discipline," he said.

"I think some of the issues that Prime Minister Cameron raised also are legitimate - the balance between the European Union and the member states is one of those."

Mr Cameron, who other reform-friendly leaders said at a summit last week had yet to present any concrete proposals for change, said he would bring Mr Lofven "up to date" on his thinking.

Appealing for support in his push to secure sufficient movement to persuade British voters to reject a so-called "Brexit" in a referendum due by 2017, he said: "I am sure we will talk as two significant economies outside the eurozone about how we can make sure Europe works for both eurozone members and non-eurozone members."

Technical talks on Britain's proposals for EU reform have been under way with Brussels officials since June, and Mr Cameron has said he will provide details of his proposals to fellow EU leaders in a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk early in November, ahead of substantive discussions between national leaders at a Brussels summit in December.