Prime Minister Theresa May began a tour of the United Kingdom to drum up support for her Brexit divorce deal with the European Union, while her deputy said on Tuesday parliament might reject it if asked to vote on it now.

May has warned sceptical lawmakers that if they reject the deal the world's fifth largest economy will either leave without an agreement or Brexit could be delayed or even reversed. The vote in parliament is scheduled for December 11.

Amid demands from British lawmakers for May to seek a better deal from the EU, a step Brussels has said it will not countenance, her de-facto deputy David Lidington said: "If the vote were today, it would be a difficult one to win, but I think that we have time between now and December 11 to make the case."

In a separate interview, Lidington, the cabinet office minister, said it was "wishful thinking" on the part of some lawmakers that the EU would offer an alternative plan.

"There's no plan B because the European Union itself is saying the deal that is on the table is the one that we have had to compromise over," he said.

May sealed a deal with EU leaders on Sunday that would see Britain leave the bloc on March 29 with continued close ties, but now faces an uphill struggle to get it approved by a divided parliament where lawmakers of all parties and on both sides of the Brexit debate have criticised it.

May travelled to Northern Ireland and Wales on Tuesday as part of a tour aimed at rallying support for the deal.

The head of the Northern Irish party which props up her minority government but opposes May's Brexit agreement said the prime minister was "wasting time" touring instead of fighting for a new deal.

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