November 26, 2018 / 7:51 AM / 20 days ago

Some UK ministers seeking EFTA Plan B if May's deal fails - The Sun

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove leaves his office in London, Britain, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Some senior British ministers and some Labour lawmakers are discussing the possibility of the United Kingdom joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is rejected by parliament, The Sun newspaper reported.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd have formed a cross-party alliance to push for membership of the EFTA as some ministers have given up hope that May’s deal will pass, The Sun reported on Monday.

“It’s failing away from us now. The opposition seems so strong that Theresa is going to really struggle to turn this around now,” The Sun quoted one unidentified British minister as saying.

Under the idea – dubbed ‘Norway Plus’ - the UK would join EFTA to maintain economic stability for a temporary period of a few years while London negotiates a full free trade deal from a stronger position, The Sun said.

May sealed a deal with the European Union on Sunday but she now must seek approval from parliament where she faces significant opposition from within her own party.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden

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