No-deal Brexit could cost jobs in Denmark: minister

Jobs in Denmark could suffer in the short term if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union next year without a deal for withdrawal, according to Minister for Economy and the Interior Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille.

No-deal Brexit could cost jobs in Denmark: minister
Minister for Economy and the Interior Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille. File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix)

Just under 60,000 people in Denmark or two percent of the working population have jobs directly or indirectly connected to Denmark’s exports to the UK, Ammitzbøll-Bille said.

A no-deal Brexit on March 29th next year therefore puts Danish jobs at risk, according to the minister.

“Employment could be affected in the short term if no-deal Brexit becomes reality,” he said to news agency Ritzau.

“Up to 60,000 jobs are dependent on the UK as an export market. So it could impact a lot of people,” he added.

But Danish businesses would recover in the longer term, Ammitzbøll-Bille, an MP with the libertarian Liberal Alliance party, said.

“Analysis shows that, in the longer run, Danish companies will find new export markets, so it will be possible to maintain current employment levels in the long term,” he said.

On Monday, British prime minister Theresa May postponed a vote in the UK parliament over the draft Brexit deal agreed with the EU last month.

May told parliament that the vote had been postponed because there is not enough support for the current backstop solution to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

She said she will go back to the EU to improve on the deal, especially with regard to the backstop. Citizens' rights groups in Europe have expressed anger that the vote was postponed.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that there will be no further negotiation on the deal but that “further clarifications” are possible.

A withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU is likely to provide better short-term prospects for jobs in Denmark, but the overall impact will vary from industry to industry, Ammitzbøll-Bille said.

“In Denmark, the food industry in particular exports to the UK and is very sensitive to a no-deal Brexit,” he told Ritzau.

“That’s why Denmark has worked hard for an agreement to be reached between the EU and the UK,” he added.

Both the IMF and Nordic economic consultants Copenhagen Economics have estimated that no-deal Brexit could shrink Denmark’s GDP by as much as one percent in the long term.

READ ALSO: RECAP: Brits in Europe vent anger after May postpones Brexit vote


‘We’ve found a solution’: Denmark extends deadline for post-Brexit residency

The Danish government announced on Monday that British nationals, who had missed a previous deadline to secure their post-Brexit residency status, will now have until the end of 2023 to apply or resubmit their late application.

'We've found a solution': Denmark extends deadline for post-Brexit residency

After the UK left the EU, Britons resident in Denmark before the end of 2020 were required to apply to extend their residence status in Denmark and receive a Danish residence card under the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

A significant number of British residents – at least 350, according to official figures released at the beginning of this year – did not apply before the original deadline of December 31st, 2021, however.

Many were subsequently given orders to leave Denmark and Danish immigration authorities came in for much criticism from rights groups representing Britons in Europe, who accused them of not correctly applying the rules of the Withdrawal Agreement.

But on Monday the Danish government announced that the initial deadline will now be extended until the end of 2023.

This extended deadline will apply to all British citizens who applied after the original deadline and whose applications were subsequently not processed.

Brits who had moved to Denmark before the end of 2020 but never submitted an application to extend their Danish residency after Brexit will also have until the end of this year to submit an application, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration said.

A major complication with the original application deadline was an error relating to information letters sent out by the authority that processes the applications, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).

The information letters, sent in 2020, were intended to inform all British nationals living in Denmark of the need to apply for their residence status in Denmark to be continued after Brexit. But an error at the agency resulted in most people who moved from the UK to Denmark in 2020 not receiving the information mails.

The Local has previously reported on individual Britons who faced having to leave homes, jobs and loved ones in Denmark over the issue.


“I am very pleased we have found this solution,” Minister for Immigration and Integration Kaare Dybvad Bek said in the statement.

“It has always been the government’s intention to make it easy and smooth for resident British nationals to stay in Denmark. There are some people who didn’t apply on time and we want to give them an extra chance,” he said.

Mads Fuglede, immigration spokesperson with coalition partner the Liberals (Venstre), said that “In light of Brexit, we decided in parliament that it should not harm British residents of Denmark that the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU. I am therefore also pleased we have found a solution for the Britons who did not apply on time”.

All British residents of Denmark applying within the new deadline are still required to be eligible for ongoing residence in Denmark under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, meaning they legally took up residence in Denmark under the EU’s free movement provisions prior to the UK’s exit from the EU. This does not represent any change to the rules under the earlier deadline.

British residents who must now submit applications by the new deadline should be aware of the distinction between an earlier application being rejected, with it not being processed.

In general, late applications under the old deadline were not processed, unless SIRI deemed there to be special circumstances justifying the late submission. In these cases, SIRI informed the applicant that their application could not be processed, citing the missed deadline as the reason for this.

Persons whose applications were processed but were rejected because they did not meet the criteria for ongoing residence under the Withdrawal Agreement will not be given the chance to reapply, the ministry said.

People who moved to Denmark after the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st, 2020 are still subject to general Danish immigration rules for third-country nationals.

The deadline extension will require a legal amendment which will be sent into the hearing phase of parliamentary procedure “as soon as possible”, the ministry said in the statement.