Danish industry group ‘relieved’ at news of UK cabinet’s Brexit deal support

The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) has said it is optimistic following Wednesday’s news that the British cabinet had agreed to support Theresa May’s draft Brexit agreement.

Danish industry group 'relieved' at news of UK cabinet’s Brexit deal support
British PM Theresa May made a statement on the draft Brexit deal outside 10 Downing Street on Wednesday evening. Photo: Tolga AKMEN / AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

DI, a private interest organisation funded, owned and managed by 10,000 companies within the Danish manufacturing, trade and service industries, responded positively to the announcement despite the significant hurdles still faced by the deal.

“The transitional agreement provides a certain amount of clarity for businesses that have long lived with uncertainty caused by Brexit,” DI director Thomas Bustrup told Ritzau in a written comment.

“But the agreement is not secured until it has been approved by the House of Commons in London and by the EU. Until then, we must hold our breath,” Bustrup added.

The DI director’s words of caution already appeared to have been borne out by Wednesday morning, as news broke that Brexit secretary Dominic Raab had resigned, saying he cannot back May's deal. That news puts the deal’s chances of survival into further doubt.

Even if the draft agreement, which was put forward by May and eventually received the backing of British ministers in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, receives approval from the British parliament, it must also be approved by the EU parliament and the leaders of the remaining 27 EU states.

May’s agreement provides a transitional plan which will enable Danish businesses to trade with UK markets under the same conditions as today until the end of 2020. The EU and UK parliament would meanwhile work to secure a new, permanent trade agreement.

If no new agreement is reached by the end of 2020, businesses could again be faced by uncertainty as the end of that year approaches, Bustrup said.

“It’s important to bear this in mind, so we don’t think everything has now been sorted out and in good order,” he said.

Mikael Olai Milhøj, a senior analyst with Danske Bank, noted that major news on Brexit negotiations was highly significant for Danish businesses, given that the UK is one of Denmark’s largest export markets.

“That’s why it’s important for many Danish businesses to be able to continue trading relatively problem-free with the Brits in future,” Milhøj said to Ritzau.

“That would be the case if this agreement gets through,” he said.

READ ALSO: 'More holes than cheese': A recap of what Theresa May's Brexit deal means for Brits in Europe


Danish immigration ministry says Brexit deadline is ‘last chance’ for UK nationals

Eligible UK nationals yet to apply for continued right of residence in Denmark under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement ‘need to remember’ to do so before an extended deadline in December, Immigration Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek has warned.

Danish immigration ministry says Brexit deadline is ‘last chance’ for UK nationals

British citizens who took up residence in Denmark before January 1st 2021 were required to apply to extend their right of residence under Denmark’s application of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Earlier this year, the government extended the deadline for applications to December 31st, 2023.

That decision was made after a significant number of people missed the original deadline, in part because many did not receive individual notification of the need to apply.

It should be noted Britons in Denmark who have already applied for and received a new residency document (in the form of an opholdstilladelse or residency permit ID card) since January 1st 2021, including those who applied prior to the original deadline, which was December 31st 2021, do not need to apply again.


The December 31st deadline will be the “last chance” to apply for the residence document, the Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration said in a statement issued on November 26th.

“Many British people live in Denmark as a natural part of our society. They greatly contribute to the labour market and to the Danish community. I hope they will continue to do that,” Bek said in the statement.

“Therefore, I am satisfied that the deadline has been extended, so that persons who did not apply initially have been given a new chance. But you need to remember to apply. Therefore, I would like to encourage all the UK Nationals in Denmark to apply, so they can continue their lives in Denmark,” he said.

In the statement, British Ambassador to Denmark Emma Hopkins urged people “to check with British friends, neighbours, and colleagues and make sure they have applied by the end of the year if they have not done so already”.

“Time is of the essence, and if you are unsure, please contact the embassy or the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI),” she added, referring to the agency responsible for issuing residence permits in Denmark.

In an interview with The Local earlier this month, Hopkins said it would be “a matter for SIRI” if any UK nationals miss the deadline for application this time around.

“It’s up to SIRI about how they process [late cases] if there are really strong extenuating reasons.

“But it’s a matter for [SIRI], really, because that’s within the gift of the Danish government. But what we can control is trying to get as many Brits to hear the message and to apply now.,” she said.

In the statement, the immigration ministry states that the “persons who have had their application processed and who have received a negative decision, because they did not live up to the requirements of the Withdrawal Agreement, will not have the opportunity to have their application processed again,” because this is not in accordance with the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

British citizens who took up residence in Denmark after December 31st 2020 are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and must therefore apply for residency under Denmark’s general rules for third party nationals.

More details about the application process and the application portal can be found on SIRI’s website.