Europe

AP Interview: Sweden PM: Brexit deal in 2 years 'very tough'

  • Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warns of 'very tough' negotiations during an interview with The Associated Press, in Stockholm, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Sweden’s prime minister said a deal between Britain and the European Union within the envisioned two-year time frame is unlikely _ and the U.K. will have to pay a big bill before it is allowed out the door. (AP Photo/David Keyton)

    Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warns of 'very tough' negotiations during an interview with The Associated Press, in Stockholm, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Sweden’s prime minister said a deal between Britain and the European Union within the envisioned two-year time frame is unlikely _ and the U.K. will have to pay a big bill before it is allowed out the door. (AP Photo/David Keyton)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweden's minister for EU affairs and trade, Ann Linde sits for an interview with The Associated Press, in Stockholm, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Linde warned that securing a new partnership between Britain and its former EU partners will take years. British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to invoke Article 50 of the key EU treaty, starting the two-year exit process, by March 31. (AP Photo/David Keyton)

    Sweden's minister for EU affairs and trade, Ann Linde sits for an interview with The Associated Press, in Stockholm, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Linde warned that securing a new partnership between Britain and its former EU partners will take years. British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to invoke Article 50 of the key EU treaty, starting the two-year exit process, by March 31. (AP Photo/David Keyton)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweden's Minister for EU affairs and trade, Ann Linde, centre,  sits for an interview with The Associated Press, in Stockholm, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Linde warned that securing a new partnership between Britain and its former EU partners will take years. British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to invoke Article 50 of the key EU treaty, starting the two-year exit process, by March 31. (AP Photo/David Keyton)

    Sweden's Minister for EU affairs and trade, Ann Linde, centre, sits for an interview with The Associated Press, in Stockholm, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Linde warned that securing a new partnership between Britain and its former EU partners will take years. British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to invoke Article 50 of the key EU treaty, starting the two-year exit process, by March 31. (AP Photo/David Keyton)  (The Associated Press)

Sweden's prime minister says a deal between Britain and the European Union within the envisioned two-year time frame is unlikely — and the U.K. will have to pay a big bill before it is allowed out the door.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven tells The Associated Press in an interview that it will be "very tough" to get an agreement by 2019, the timeframe laid out in EU rules.

British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to invoke Article 50 of the key EU treaty, starting the two-year exit process, by March 31.

Lofven says it's "optimistic" to think the U.K. can be disentangled from the bloc and its web of laws, benefits and obligations, by March 2019.

He says it's "going to be very tough, to do all these things within two years."