Fredrik Reinfeldt
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Fredrik Reinfeldt: Swedish view of UK EU membership

The idea of freedom of movement was "essential to the European Union" but there was "always an openness to discuss" what it meant, said a former Swedish prime minister.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, in London to address the CBI conference, said Sweden had been trying to attract people and it was one of the few countries to open up its labour market without transitional rules.

He told Jo Coburn on the Daily Politics that politicians should be "very careful with words" when it came to talk of the UK potential leaving the EU, and he thought it was of the "utmost interest" for the UK to stay, but not at any price.

He considered Britain to be "like minded" with northern European countries over free trade and freedom of movement.

Mr Reinfeldt, from the right-of-the centre Moderate Party which lost power in the lost the Swedish elections, said: "When Britain throws in its political weight on an issue, it makes a difference."

And he described David Cameron's influence in re-writing EU rules, adding that "people and countries will listen to Britain."

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