THERESA May will abandon a Tory unity plan for a better Brexit deal once the EU shoots it down to her face on Thursday, allies have claimed.

The PM faces a barrage of abuse from Brussels bosses when she flies to Europe’s capital in a bid to renegotiate her EU exit deal.

But ministers close to No10 told The Sun that she secretly wants the EU’s help to abandon the new plan, dubbed the Malthouse Compromise.

Drawn up by senior Tory Leavers and Remainers, it replaces the unpopular Irish backstop with a new system of stand-off customs checks.

Allies say Mrs May knows EU leaders will never accept the ambitious new plan with just 50 days to go until the UK leaves, and wants to swiftly move on over the weekend to pressing for legally binding changes to toughen up the current backstop.

One Leave-backing minister said: “The PM needs Brussels to kill off Malthouse quickly.

“She can’t do it herself, she knows the EU has to do it for her or the ERG will never forgive her.

“But until that happens, she won’t be able to do the new deal that the members states want to do too now.”

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay is also said to agree with the PM’s assessment.

The Cabinet minister is using intensive talks this week with the Malthouse Compromise group of senior backbench Tories to “pick apart” their plan.

EU Commission boss Jean-Claude Juncker slammed the Malthouse Compromise plan after talks with Irish premier Leo Varadkar on Wednesday.

Mr Juncker said: “Alternative arrangements are for the future, not for now. When it comes to the future relations, we can have a look into alternative arrangements. But they can never replace the backstop.

“We are sticking to the line that we set on Day One.”

But Mr Varadkar held out hope for other changes when he revealed he had invited Mrs May to Dublin for Brexit talks over dinner on Friday evening.

No10 last night played down the prospect of getting a breakthrough in time to put to MPs in next Thursday’s Commons votes.

A senior Downing Street source said: “If the clouds clear then great, but realistically it’s not where we’re going.”

The source added that the Government would have to put “something” down to vote on next Thursday but said he expects the “focus” will be on other amendments such as attempts to legislate against a no deal Brexit.

Abandoning the new plan to instead fight for a time limit or exit mechanism to the current backstop instead risks infuriating arch Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group of hardline MPs.

They insisted on Wednesday that the PM must demand the EU accept the unity plan or face a new Commons defeat next week.

There is “a very slim chance” of Mrs May winning the next crucial Commons vote on February 14 if she doesn’t, a senior ERG figure said.

But government whips now think they could whittle down the ERG’s rebellion to around 20 diehards if the PM does win other legally binding changes.

And up to 60 Labour MPs will back the PM’s Brexit deal if she allows Parliament a say in trade talks – ex-Shadow Minister Lisa Nandy declared yesterday.

She said a commitment that Parliament could help “frame” Britain’s post Brexit direction after March 29 could be enough to get a huge number of opposition MPs over the line.

Brits going from the mainland to Northern Ireland may need to have their passports stamped under the current Brexit deal, it also emerged.

Expert analysis of the agreement struck in November carried out for Tory Eurosceptics has revealed the legal obligation on UK authorities would kick in if the unpopular Irish backstop is enforced.

The revelation flies in the face of the PM’s promise to never divide up the UK.