TORY rebels backing a Norway-style Brexit were on Sunday night on the brink of securing the support of the SNP in a huge breakthrough.
Sources close to the Scottish Nationalists said party chiefs were “in ongoing discussions” about whether to vote as a bloc for the Common Market 2.0 proposal set to go before MPs in Monday’s second vote on Brexit alternatives. The party ‘abstained’ in last week’s first round.
The SNP’s support would hand a critical 34 extra votes to the plan pushed by Tory MP Nick Boles and Labour’s Lucy Powell, and potentially push the Norway option above a permanent Customs Union.
The move came as backers of various different Brexit options said they believed as many as 40 Tory Ministers and ministerial aides were “in play”and could swing the outcome.
The Sun last week revealed that most junior Tory Ministers abstained or voted against different proposals in the first round of Indicative Votes to make the PM’s own Brexit agreement look more attractive.
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But this bloc is expected to vote in Monday’s second round.
Ex-Tory Minister Nick Boles held talks with the DUP last Thursday in an attempt to win over the Ulster unionists to the Norway plan.
DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds admitted on Friday that he would “rather stay in the EU than risk Northern Ireland’s position” in the union.
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