With 60 days to go the uncertainty is greater than ever

With 60 days to go the uncertainty is greater than ever


Ahead of the crunch parliamentary week punters don’t think the March 29 exit will happen

One of the good things about betting trend charts is that they are a way of seeing how opinions, at least of those who ready to risk money betting on politics, are developing over time.

We are today exactly 60 days before the Article 50 deadline expires when the UK is due to leave the EU. Yet it is still far from clear whether that is going to happen on that date, whether it will be deferred and what the terms will be. Will, for instance, the UK still be in the customs union?

    Thus on October 11th last year punters rated it a 71% chance that the country would be out on March 29th. That’s now moved to, as I write, a 21.3% chance which is a huge change.

The time is running out. Even if MPs now accept Mrs. May’s deal then there is almost certainly not the parliamentary time available to amend the relevant legislation for the new post EU relationship.

The PM’s strategy throughout has been to let the time pass by so it becomes much harder for MPs to allow Brexit to happen without a deal. Whether that will be affected by this week’s Commons votes is hard to say.

A massive vote tomorrow will be on the Yvette Cooper amendment which seeks to delay the exit date. The Times is reporting:

“MPs who are loyal at present to the prime minister will get behind alternative plans for leaving the European Union if a proposal by the former Labour cabinet minister Yvette Cooper results in a delay to the withdrawal date.

One MP who voted for the deal two weeks ago said that they could not afford to wait for Mrs May to try to secure more concessions on the Irish backstop before mobilising behind a softer Brexit. “How long do we have to wait? People on the moderate and centre wing of the party are not going to wait until mid-March,” they said. “We’re just not.”

Another market on the Betfair exchange has it as just a 15% chance that we’ll have a no-deal Brexit by March 30th.

Mike Smithson

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