After Thursday’s eye-opening elections in Britain, there are no longer the votes for a "hard Brexit" in Britain’s Parliament, former Chancellor George Osborne told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday.
“It’s not clear what takes its place,” said Osborne, now the editor of the Evening Standard newspaper, in discussing Brexit and the future of the Conservative Party following significant election losses for Theresa May’s government.
Speaking on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Osborne said that Britain would have to rethink its departure from the European Union so that the break was not as absolute — a "soft Brexit" rather than a hard one. The difference could have an impact on relationships throughout Europe.
When questioned by Zakaria as to whether the leaders of the European Union would tolerate that, Osborne acknowledged there would be "no special deals for Britain" but said he thought a special relationship was still possible, such as the one the EU has with Norway, which is part of the combined European market but not the EU itself.
"You can be in the single market but not be in the European Union," Osborne said.
Osborne — who was fired by May last year — has been critical of the prime minister repeatedly in recent days, calling her "a dead woman walking" on the BBC’s Andrew Marr program. His newspaper has also offered a barrage of assaults against May and her brand of conservatism.
Thursday’s election left May in need of support from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to form a coalition government, and May’s place atop the government remains extremely shaky. Osborne also suggested that if the Labour Party had run a better candidate than Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservatives would have been out of power.
"It will mean a lot of hard thinking in the Conservative Party," Osborne told Zakaria.