Punters have shown little faith in PM Boris Johnson passing his Brexit deal in Parliament before the 31st October, with the possibility of a deal being reached currently trading at 3% on the Smarkets betting exchange.
Johnson continues to face an uphill battle in Westminster, having lost a succession of important votes since taking up the role of Prime Minister.
But with MPs recently voting in favour of a “second reading“, a further delay becomes more likely, Head of Political Markets at Smarkets Sarbjit Bakhshi explains that Brexit markets are showing a ‘clear indication’ that punters do not think a deal will be reached.
Bakhshi commented: “Our market on whether the UK will leave the EU by the end of the month now has ‘No’ at 97%, which is a very clear indication from our users that they don’t see it happening.
“While there’s seemingly zero chance of a referendum this year, our market for one by 2021 suggests there’s a 36% chance of the people getting another vote. So there is a chance that Corbyn could get his confirmatory referendum as part of an agreement to support the Government’s Brexit deal.”
Sharing insights, Sporting Index’s politics lead Phill Fairclough, details that leaving the European Union on October 31 is a ‘big price’. He added: “There’s still a deal agreed in principle, however, it’s a big price for the UK to leave the EU on the 31st October and not too many are punting on that at this stage. I think January or May is more realistic for us to leave the EU.
“If the extension is agreed to on 31st January – which I believe it will be – it will then mean Boris Johnson may look to call a vote on the Fixed Term Parliament Act, but it would be doubtful that he would get the 434 votes required.
“It is perhaps more realistic to imagine the PM tabling a bill for a General Election to take place on a specific date – say in December, for example, where he’d only need a majority to pass.”
If the EU agrees to an extension of the Brexit deadline, Johnson will seek for a General Election. Nevertheless, the motion would have to be carried by the Labour Party agreeing to General Election terms or tabling a vote of no confidence, which could see the UK have three different Prime Ministers within the past 12 months.
Fairclough continued: “It seems the opposition do want a deal, but not right now. The amended bill requires further scrutiny on their part and will not be rushed. Donald Tusk is certainly open to the idea of a further extension, meaning a snap election could be called.
“I believe the chance of a second referendum is slipping away from the opposition, albeit the chance of this happening does seem to become stronger the longer things are drawn out.
“I don’t think we will have a new PM by 2020. If an election is run before then I believe the PM will now get a majority, albeit extremely small – perhaps around 10. However, any delay to Brexit would be detrimental to the Conservatives and bolster the chances for the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party.”