Financial Times – Brexit need not mean the violent rupture.

“Sometimes there can be salvation in chaos. Britain’s inconclusive general election gives it the opportunity to revisit the terms of its future relationship with the EU. 

Brexit need not mean the violent rupture imagined by Theresa May’s government. A better outcome, though, will test the generosity and patience of Britain’s partners.

The post-election political impasse denies the government an effective parliamentary majority for any Brexit legislation. All the while the prime minister will be negotiating in Brussels with partners who know she is a lame duck.

Mrs May has one chance left to redeem herself in the twilight of her premiership. She could seek a cross-party consensus on the terms of a soft Brexit that leaves Britain in the European Economic Area. She could then promise a second referendum on the terms of the deal. 

If she moves in that direction, Ms Merkel and Mr Macron should stand ready to help by stopping the clock on negotiations.

Yes, the Brits are maddening, but Europe is too important to miss the opportunity to keep them in.”

philip.stephens@ft.com

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