A senior Swedish government official said the U.K. remaining part of the European Union would be “a good idea” and a hard Brexit “wouldn’t serve anyone.”
Annika Söder, the Swedish state secretary for foreign affairs, was on her way into a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Vienna on Thursday when she was asked if there were plans to offer the U.K. a more generous Brexit deal.
“You know that we wanted to keep you and we look at the polls and we see that there may be some hesitation,” Söder said. “We hope that we can have a way forward to have a soft Brexit because a hard Brexit wouldn’t serve anyone, and this may be not very polite but we hope that there can be a solution where the U.K. will still be in the European Union.
“We will not give up on a soft Brexit and that tiny hope is still there,” she added.
Asked if she thought there was a chance that the U.K. wouldn’t go ahead with Brexit and stay in the EU, Söder said: “Wouldn’t that be a good idea.”
“From the European Union perspective and from a Swedish perspective, of course we’d love to have the U.K. as a partner,” she said.