UK cabinet minister floats ‘Plan B’ prior to key vote on May’s Brexit deal

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LONDON (Reuters) – A very close ally of British Pm Theresa May on Saturday took over as first cabinet minister to float a possible Plan B if, not surprisingly, parliament in a few days rejects her plan to leave the European Union.

With her own future within the balance, May insists her deal, laboriously negotiated with the EU over months, is the just one single up for grabs and that your options are a painful 'no-deal' exit from your EU or possibly no Brexit in anyway.

However, people parliament, including from May's own Conservative Party, look set to reject her deal, which envisages continued close ties while using EU, inside a move that might pitch the world's fifth-largest economy into even deeper uncertainty.

While agreeing with May that her deal shows the best choice for exiting the EU, Amber Rudd, the repair and pensions minister, said a Norway-style relationship with the bloc might also offer a solution of the current deadlock.

"Whether or not it (May's plan) doesn't get through anything could happen: people's vote, Norway plus, one of these options could come forward," she told BBC radio on Saturday.

Rudd told Purchasing newspaper in the interview her own preferred option, if May's deal failed, was the "Norway Plus" model, adding it "seems plausible not only to the country but also in regards to the place that the MPs are".

Norway is not an EU member but is in the bloc's single market, that permits for nothing movement goods, capital, services and the wonderful. 'Norway plus' envisages Britain also vacationing in the EU's customs union, which Norway just isn’t in.

Some pro-EU lawmakers in addition expressed support for a second referendum on EU membership, or 'a people's vote'.

MAY'S LEADERSHIP QUESTIONED

The Times also reported on Saturday that plans appeared to be made across party lines to vote against May's leadership if she loses Tuesday's vote. The Daily Telegraph quoted a senior Conservative lawmaker as saying she is likely to be compelled to resign.

Rudd said she believed May should remain as prime minister even when parliament rejects her Brexit deal.

"There isn’t any question of her going," Rudd told the BBC.

But The days said the primary opposition Labour Party was seeking an alliance with rebel Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party, small Northern Irish party which props up the minority government, to a vote of no-confidence in May's premiership.

That vote wouldn’t be binding but would place enormous pressure on May to resign, it added.

Conservative lawmaker and former leader Iain Duncan Smith was quoted during the Telegraph as saying her leadership could enter in to question if she lost Tuesday's vote.

"I believe that if (May's) solution is "we've lost but we can do that all over again", it can be a leadership issue," it reported him as saying.

The newspaper also said three ministers were considering resigning towards her deal, without citing sources.

If the Brexit deal is rejected, ministers have A 3-week period to convey the way that they plan to proceed. The government has previously declared if the agreement is rejected, Britain will leave the EU with not a deal.

May's spokesman said on Friday the vote would go ahead in a month’s time despite calls from some lawmakers it to be delayed in order to avoid a defeat so big not wearing running shoes might lower the government.

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