How TMay’s speech last night impacted on the betting
The top UK political betting market at the moment is the above one on whether there is actually going to be a no deal brexit in 2019. The chart is based on the Betfair Exchange where the bookmaker does not set the odds but punters are trading with each other.
The big message from Theresa May’s dramatic invitation to Jeremy Corbyn yesterday evening was that she does not want a no deal brexit is going to do what she can to avoid it. Clearly the cabinet is very split as we saw with extraordinary long meeting yesterday without, it should be noted, any civil servants. This was cabinet members only which is quite unusual.
For as well as being a huge move for the country as a whole this is massive in its potential impact it could have on the Conservative Party. It could lead to ministerial resignation but so far there have been none.
What I think the hardliners have not fully factored in is that the referendum result in 2016 was actually very close and it would only have taken a 1.9% Leave to Remain swing for the outcome to have been different. It can be argued that a 51.9% to 48.1% split is no mandate for hard change.
The nation was divided then and still remains totally divided and that surely should be factored in when it comes to working out Britain’s relationship with the EU.
The political risks of a hard brexit, I’d argue, are substantial and Mrs May’s decision to reach out to the Labour leader is probably the wisest one she has made yet. Whether it produces the outcome she wants we will see. The clock is ticking.