Is there a Brexit ‘Plan B?’ United Kingdom minister offers alternatives

Political cartoon from the 1880s

Political cartoon from the 1880s

A Indian-origin Brexiteer MP has come under pressure over her suggestion that potential food shortages between borders could be used as leverage to secure a better deal from the European Union, ahead of a vote in the UK Parliament next week over PM May's Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister faces widespread opposition to her plan across the Commons, including both Remain and Leave-supporting wings of her own party.

Heidi Nordby Lunde, an MP in Norway's governing Conservative party, told the Guardian: 'Really, the Norwegian option is not an option.

Senior Conservative MP Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, said he would welcome deferring the vote to allow time to settle the question of how the United Kingdom removes itself from the so-called "backstop" arrangements for Northern Ireland.

However, Downing Street has rejected rumours Mrs May could delay the Brexit vote in a last-ditch attempt to avoid defeat. "I think we should win the vote", he told BBC Radio 4's Today program on Friday. "Don't pre-judge it".

There is also the outside option that the prime minister herself could ask the House of Commons for an early general election, but this would require a super majority of two thirds of MPs voting in favour. But the task is daunting, since so many Conservatives are lining up to oppose her plan. Barring a last-minute miracle, Theresa May has lost her final battle.

A key tactic for May's team has been to use time to her advantage.

The U.K. will leave the European Union on March 29 even if no deal is ratified by then.

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Elsewhere in the capital, the pro-EU Best for Britain and second referendum campaign the People's Vote will hold a rally featuring politicians including Lord Heseltine and celebrities such as actors Charles Dance and Jason Isaacs.

The pound was down 0.2 percent at $1.2755 as of 8:45 a.m. London time. "I am very committed to her handling it and the cabinet is as well". It came after May met with senior MPs on Thursday to discuss the growing prospect of defeat in Parliament.

Leave supporters view Norway-plus as "Brexit in name only" because it keeps the United Kingdom tied to Brussels' rules, a customs union would restrict Britain's ability to strike trade deals around the world and there would be no end to the free movement of EU migrants to the UK. Even though May says the backstop is unlikely to be used, the current agreement provides no legal assurances to prevent such a scenario from happening. The backstop will kick in if the two sides don't find a lasting solution to avoiding checks at the border.

Amber Rudd has suggested that the United Kingdom could seek an alternative plan if Theresa May's Brexit proposal is rejected by MPs in their "meaningful vote".

May said she's in talks to offer Parliament a say over whether to extend the Brexit transition period beyond December 2020 if needed, rather than enter into the backstop arrangement.

With three days of the five-day debate complete, analysis showed that of 163 MPs who have spoken, just 27 have indicated they will back Mrs May's deal compared with 122 - including 29 Tories - who will vote against.

It's also possible that an amendment to Tuesday's bill proposed by one of her fiercest critics ends up sparing her from a major blow. The Daily Telegraph quoted a senior Conservative lawmaker as saying she might be forced to resign.

But the government would still need to pass a hefty amount of legislation as the Brexit process continues.

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