During Prime Minister’s Questions I asked if the Prime Minister was serious about doing away with the Northern Irish backstop, and doesn’t want to extend Article 50, then why doesn’t she pivot to the Norway-Plus option which eliminates the need for both these things?
Stephen Kinnock: In May 2018, Michel Barnier said that the only frictionless model for the future relationship with the UK would be Norway-plus—Norway being part of the single market, plus a customs union. This means that a Norway-plus Brexit would eliminate the need for the backstop and would also be agreed rapidly, thereby eliminating the need to extend article 50. If the Prime Minister really wants to do away with the backstop and really wants to leave the EU on 29 March without the need for an extension, why does she not pivot to the Norway-plus option today?
The Prime Minister: First, it is not the case that that is the only way to provide frictionless trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Other options have been put on the table. The question of the extent of that frictionless trade will be a matter for the second stage of the negotiations.