UK bookmakers revise odds on EU referendum

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Following this May’s outright UK General Election win by the Conservative Party, UK political debate and commentary has shifted to the nation’s referendum on European Union (EU) membership.

Since gaining his re-election Prime Minister David Cameron has made the EU referendum top of the Conservative agenda. The referendum was a key objective of the Conservatives 2015 General Election campaign, however the subject matter has been particularly fractious to the conservative camp having split party opinion.

William Hill has lengthened the odds of the UK leaving the Union from 2/1 to 9/4, with the bookmaker further shortening odds on the UK staying in the EU to 1/3.

Although promised for 2017, the Conservative party is facing significant calls from business and community stakeholders to bring the referendum forward to 2016. Bookmakers Sky Bet and Paddy Power have placed the PM to call the referendum for 2016 at 1/4 over a 2017 date at 11/4.

This week saw the PM begin his push for EU reform, hosting discussions with Europe Commission President Jean Claude Juncker. Cameron’s European expedition will see the PM host talks with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz on Friday before concluding discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Principal to Cameron’s EU reforms are plans to reform EU migrant claims to UK benefits and welfare. Furthermore the Conservative leader has opposed the EU’s potential introduction of minimum corporation tax across member states, a direct challenge to Cameron’s call for increased state sovereignty.

To date the Prime Minister has been coy about whether he would argue for the UK to leave the EU if he could not secure reforms for Britain in Brussels before the referendum promised for 2017. In 2014 the PM implied to the UK Media that he would not fight as hard for Britain to stay in the EU as he did for Scotland to remain in the British union.

Betting exchange Betfair listed the UK on 11/10 as the next member state to leave the EU, with Greece as narrow market favourites on 4/6.

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