Brexit looks set to be the biggest non-election political betting even market ever

People's Vote march – demanding vote on final Brexit deal

People’s Vote march – demanding vote on final Brexit deal

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|United Kingdom to be out of the European (EU) by 29 March 2019?

Lots of bookies of different sorts have ranges of markets on Brexit from PaddyPower’s “What foodstuffs will be rationed first in 2019?” to the above bet on whether or not the UK will leave the EU on March 29th.

What’s been very striking is the level of activity which is building up sharply as we get closer to the date. The Betfair exchange is just about the only one which publishes in real time how much has been agreed on every single market. There is no public information about other bookmakers.

I cannot recall any other non-election related betting which has seen these activity levels.

The most important remaining key BREXIT date. When is the United Kingdom leaving the EU?

Parliament will also pass an Implementation and Withdrawal Bill that sets out the full details of Brexit.

March 2019: EU summit to ratify Brexit deal

The 28 EU member states will meet in Brussels for the last time before Brexit, where they are expected to ratify the withdrawal agreement, if it has been passed by the UK parliament.

29 March 2019: Brexit Day

At 11pm on Friday 29 March next year, the UK will officially cease to be a member of the EU, although a transition period will remain in place until the end of 2020.

Another interesting market is this one where we are nearing crossover in the which will happen first – Brexit or TMay leaving. Charts, usual, from Betdata.io.

And then, of course, PaddyPower has this.

Mike Smithson, PoliticalBetting.com

Follow @MSmithsonPB

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BRITISH Prime Minister May tries to tweak defeated Brexit plan, refuses to rule out no-deal

Brexit: Theresa May offers MPs chance to shape deal – as it happened

Brexit: Theresa May offers MPs chance to shape deal – as it happened

German Europe Minister Michael Roth said on Monday that even William Shakespeare would not have been able to think up a Brexit tragedy of such drama.

By Kylie MacLellan, William James and Elizabeth Piper

LONDON (Reuters)(AIWA! NO!) – British Prime Minister Theresa May sought to break the parliamentary deadlock over Brexit on Monday by proposing to seek further concessions from the European Union on a plan to prevent customs checks on the Irish border.

With little time left until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29, there is no agreement in London on how and even whether it should leave the world’s biggest trading bloc, and a growing chance of a dramatic ‘no-deal’ exit with no provisions to soften the economic shock.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, January 21, 2019.  REUTERS/Hannah McKay
British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

After her Brexit divorce deal with Brussels was rejected by 432-202 lawmakers last Tuesday, the biggest defeat in modern British history, May has been searching for a way to get a deal through.

She told parliament she could not take a “no-deal” Brexit off the table as there was no approved alternative, and the EU would be unlikely to postpone Britain’s exit date – determined by the “Article 50” withdrawal notice – without an exit plan.

“No-deal will only be taken off the table by either revoking Article 50, which turns back the results of the referendum – the government will not do that – or by having a deal, and that is what we are trying to work out,” May said.

She said another referendum would strengthen the hand of those seeking to break up the United Kingdom and could damage social cohesion by undermining faith in democracy.

May vowed to be “more flexible” with lawmakers in trying to agree changes to the Northern Irish backstop, an insurance policy to ensure there will be no return to border checks between the British province and Ireland.

“I will then take the conclusions of those discussions back to the EU,” May said. “My focus continues to be on what is needed to secure the support of this House in favour of a Brexit deal with the EU.”

SHAKESPEAREAN DRAMA

Hardline supporters of Brexit in May’s Conservative party object above all to the fact that Britain cannot unilaterally end the backstop, which would keep it in a customs union with the EU until an alternative way of ensuring an open border is found. Brussels says this provision is non-negotiable.

May’s task is gargantuan: Convince the EU to reopen negotiations and then secure enough changes to gain the support of at least 115 lawmakers who previously voted against the deal.

The EU, which has an economy more than six times the size of the United Kingdom, says it wants an orderly exit, but senior officials have expressed frustration at London’s crisis.

German Europe Minister Michael Roth said on Monday that even William Shakespeare would not have been able to think up a Brexit tragedy of such drama.

Amid fears that the world’s fifth largest economy could drop out of the EU without a deal, some lawmakers are planning to wrest control of the process from the government.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the bloc was ready to work on the political declaration on future EU-UK ties, but that the withdrawal deal already agreed, which it accompanies, was the best one possible.

In a sign of how grave the political crisis has become, May was forced to deny a Daily Telegraph report that she was considering amending the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland. An open border with Ireland is widely seen as crucial to maintaining this peace.

CLOSED MIND

Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee said Dublin would not engage in bilateral talks on Brexit, and would negotiate only as part of the remaining EU.

Ireland also rejected a proposal by Poland’s foreign minister that the backstop be time-limited.

The 650-seat parliament is deeply divided over Brexit, with different factions supporting a wide range of options including leaving without a deal, holding a second referendum and seeking a customs union with the EU.

Lawmakers will debate and vote on the next steps on Jan. 29, and before then they can put forward amendments to May’s proposals.

The opposition Labour Party put forward an amendment seeking to force the government to give parliament time to consider and vote on options to prevent a ‘no deal’ exit. Among them should be a permanent customs union with the EU and a second referendum on Brexit, the party said – both proposals that May has ruled out.

May had earlier chided Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for not taking part in cross-party talks, but he said May was in denial.”Her current deal is undeliverable,” he said.

Hilary Benn, a Labour lawmaker who chairs parliament’s Brexit committee, said: “While her door may have been open, her mind has remained closed because she has rejected stopping us leaving the EU with no deal, even though she knows it would be disastrous.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group of anti-EU lawmakers in May’s party, said Britain was most likely to leave without a deal.

But if the backstop were scrapped, he said most of the opposition from Conservative eurosceptics would be removed.

Sterling <GBP=>, which has flip-flopped over the past two-and-a-half years on different signals about the course of Brexit, rose slightly to around $1.29 on hopes of a compromise. On the day of the referendum in 2016, it was trading at $1.50. [GBP/]

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kevin Liffey)



Theresa May tells MPs she has identified ‘three key changes’ needed to her Brexit policy

https://aiwa.press/
Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian|AIWA! NO!|Fiona Hyslop, Scotland’s external affairs and culture secretary, has attacked Theresa May for continuing with plans to require EU citizens to register to stay after Brexit.

Euronews
Latest Brexit poll shows UK would now vote to remain as 'crossover day' looms

EuronewsLatest Brexit poll shows UK would now vote to remain as ‘crossover day’ looms

Hyslop said it was welcome the UK government had finally bowed to pressure and scrapped the £65 registration fee for EU citizens who wanted to stay, but added that it should never have been introduced. She said this does not change the fact that EU citizens should not be asked to apply simply to retain the rights that they already have to live, work and study in Scotland. This has caused real anxiety for EU citizens in Scotland, who contribute so much to our economy and society.

READ RELATED: Brexit news – live: Theresa May mocked over ‘Groundhog Day’ as she unveils plan B almost identical to original plan

Fees charged as part of the pilot scheme introduced today by the UK government should be dropped immediately.

Labour leader struggling to balance conflicting forces in his party over Brexit

Theresa May’s Brexit ‘plan B’ rejected by Europe

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement following winning a confidence vote, after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal, outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement following winning a confidence vote, after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal, outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

“This is a negotiation between the EU and the UK,” Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee

Theresa May is due to set out her Brexit 'plan B' later today
Theresa May is due to set out her Brexit ‘plan B’ later today ( PA )

Theresa May’s Plan B was bluntly ruled out by European leaders today just hours before she stood up to announce it to MPs.

Dublin delivered a firm “No” to Downing Street’s latest bid to go back to Brussels and ask for concessions on the backstop.

And the vice-president of the European Parliament also flatly rejected two other ideas being hastily floated as ways of defusing the Brexit deal: one being to remove the backstop from the EU agreement and replace it with an Anglo-Irish treaty; the other being to rewrite the Good Friday agreement that underpins the peace process.

The triple-No to Mrs May followed a weekend of political confusion as ministers argued over how best to break the deadlock in Parliament and backbenchers plotted openly to seize the reins.

Mrs May arrives back at No10 this morning (PA)

In the latest developments:

  • Business Minister Richard Harrington said no-deal would be an “absolute disaster” and slammed as a “sham” the trade agreements that International Trade Secretary Liam Fox pledged to sign before Brexit Day on March 29 but which have fallen behind schedule. 
  • Germany’s Europe minister Michael Roth urged Britain to “think about it again” and stay in the European Union.
  • An expert warned that the Queen could be drawn into the constitutional crisis over Brexit. Former Government law adviser Sir Stephen Laws said the Government could ask the Monarch to refuse to give Royal Assent to a cross-party Bill if conventions are overturned by the Speaker.
  • Warnings that the Labour Party could split were amplified when former minister Chris Leslie said the public would “not forgive” Jeremy Corbyn if he refused to back a second referendum.

Mrs May was due to reveal to the Commons at 3.30pm her plans to rescue her Brexit deal after it was voted down by a record 432 votes to 202 last week.

Follow the latest Brexit developments LIVE

In a conference call with her Cabinet yesterday, Mrs May indicated that she would prefer to seek concessions from the EU rather than risk splitting the Tory Party by negotiating a cross-party agreement for a softer Brexit.

But Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee pre-empted her by saying the backstop could not be removed. She also rejected direct talks between Dublin and London. “This is a negotiation between the EU and the UK,” she told RTE.

Mairead McGuinness, the European Parliament vice-president who played a key role in winning EU support for the backstop, said reports that Mrs May wanted a new treaty between the UK and Ireland to replace it were “not an option”.

Downing Street has reportedly distanced itself from the plan, reported in the Telegraph, to change the Good Friday Agreement. 

Declaring herself “surprised” she said no EU country would “break ranks” to do separate deals outside the bloc.

Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator, commented “challenging times…” as he held a meeting with Ireland’s deputy PM Simon Coveney.

Theresa May’s Plan B was bluntly ruled out by European leaders today just hours before she stood up to announce it to MPs.

Dublin delivered a firm “No” to Downing Street’s latest bid to go back to Brussels and ask for concessions on the backstop.

And the vice-president of the European Parliament also flatly rejected two other ideas being hastily floated as ways of defusing the Brexit deal: one being to remove the backstop from the EU agreement and replace it with an Anglo-Irish treaty; the other being to rewrite the Good Friday agreement that underpins the peace process.

The triple-No to Mrs May followed a weekend of political confusion as ministers argued over how best to break the deadlock in Parliament and backbenchers plotted openly to seize the reins.
c

Most Labour supporters want People’s Vote, Corbyn is told

Mrs May also faced a rising risk of defeat in the Commons as cross-party groups of MPs put down amendments to her plan.

Conservative Nicholas Boles, the former minister who masterminded a Bill to enable the House of Commons to veto a no-deal Brexit, said he was getting broad support across Parliament: “The amendment we will be laying this afternoon will be signed by MPs from five parties.”

After weekend claims that an amendment being put down by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve amounted to an attempted coup, Mr Boles stressed that his plan was “a very limited intervention” specifically dealing with a no-deal situation.

Mrs May is facing the rising risk of her plan being defeated again in the Commons (PA)

Labour former Cabinet minister Yvette Cooper, who is piloting the Bill said the Prime Minister may be hoping Parliament would rule out no deal to save her from the political cost of doing so.

She told Today: “I think she knows that she should rule out no deal in the national interest because it would be so damaging. She’s refusing to do so and I think she’s hoping that Parliament will do this for her – that is not leadership.”

Sir Stephen said the Queen being put on the spot if the Bill was passed. Writing for the Policy Exchange think tank, he warned: “It is a sacred duty of all UK politicians not to involve the Monarch in politics. They have a constitutional responsibility to resolve difficulties between themselves in accordance with the rules, and so as not to call on the ultimate referee.” 

Sir Stephen, formerly the Government’s most senior lawyer on legislative and constitutional matters, said the Queen could be drawn in if the Government and parliament could not agree on the rules.

Germany’s Mr Roth urged said Britain should consider abandoning Brexit.  “The door to the EU always remains open – perhaps think about it again,” he told ARD.

Some 57 Brexit-backing Tory MPs signed public pledges to reject Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement on the grounds that it kept the UK too close to EU rules.

BREXIT: Another go for May come MONDAY, Handicapped in Favour of the status quo, UK Stays in the EU

Those who must live with the result of the referendum longest want to remain
Those who must live with the result of the referendum longest want to remain

May I be excused? No, Theresa, no you may not!

By Peter Spencer

AIWA! NO!|As the Brexit psychodrama unfolds the political chaos gets steadily worse. All the signs are Theresa May’s got virtually nowhere in her attempts to find common ground with other parties. But, as our political correspondent Peter Spencer reports, she’s got no choice but to face her enemies on all sides of the chamber on Monday…

In the English breakfast, the hen is involved but the pig is committed.

Which is where Brexit has left our MP’s.

Grunty, snorty porkers.

In normal times politicians are involved in the cut and thrust of debate.

Now they are committed.

Which is why Theresa May’s attempts at cross-party talks are as likely to succeed as taking out an army with a spud gun.

Each of the many factions doesn’t think, it knows, exactly what the seventeen million leavers and sixteen million remainers really wanted.

Complete cojones, of course. The referendum question was yay or nay. No details, no subdivisions, no shades of grey.

Makes no odds. No one’s listening to anyone now.

Trying to sort the mess is as tricky as reversing a vasectomy. Simply too many loose ends to tie up.

Love her or hate her, you have to admire Mrs May’s sticking power.

Last week’s commons rejection of her departure deal looked like the biggest defeat for any British government since the Battle of Hastings.

And yet she soldiers on, trying to get someone to agree to something. Anything, really.

A big ask, when even her own cabinet is riven with dissent. Up to twenty ministers are reportedly ready to quit if she doesn’t make sure we don’t crash out of the EU with no deal.

Still, she’s in good company there. Jeremy Corbyn faces a tranche of top table resignations if he goes for a second referendum. One reason why he’s swerving her cross-party Downing Street talks.

Yup. It’s that polarised. And we’re now only weeks away from Departure Day – March 29th.

Little wonder everyone’s getting the jitters. Fears escalate of food and drug shortages. The motorway out of Dover turning into a car park. A serious slump in the housing market. Possible problems for anybody trying to fly to or drive in Europe. The list goes on. Happy days.

Theresa May’s Monday despatch box gig never was going to produce anything much, though the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, deserves a mention for making it happen at all.

In so doing he overturned centuries of parliamentary practice and really put one on the powers that be.

Calls to mind Mr Speaker Lenthal. He it was who stood up to King Charles 1st when he barged into the chamber with a load of soldiers and demanded to know where the MP’s he’d come to arrest had gone.

‘May it please your majesty,’ Lenthal replied, ‘I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this house is pleased to direct me.’

In short, up yours.

Some suspect that’s Bercow’s attitude too, seeing as his wife got a sticker for her car that reads ‘Bollocks to Brexit’.

He may yet play a pivotal role when the voting that matters takes place on January 29th. Tilting the balance of power still further from the government to the commons.

Not that anyone’s in charge just now, meaning anything’s possible.

Currently, the second referendum is creeping up the likelihood stakes, as is a much softer Brexit than Mrs May has in mind. While a delay to the scheduled departure date is definitely a runner. Though the spectre of a no-deal departure continues to hover round Westminster.

Most MP’s fear it’d be the greatest act of self-harm since the Suez Crisis, though Brexit ultras see it as the greatest escape since Steve McQueen got on his bike at Stalag Luft 111.

Be it a threat or a promise, it’s potent. Which is why the game everyone’s playing now is something between strip poker and Russian roulette.

No messing around, this is a constitutional as well as a political crisis. And the stakes could hardly be higher.

And yet this week David Cameron managed to keep a straight face when he claimed he didn’t regret calling the referendum in the first place. Because he’d promised one.

It’s worth remembering that in those faraway tranquil days surveys clearly showed Europe was way down almost everyone’s priority list.

Everyone, that is, except a hardcore of right-wing agitators. And of course Cameron did have an election to win. Had to keep his people sweet.

Harsh though it sounds, the word appeasement springs to mind.

Of course, he did his best in trying circumstances. But so did Neville Chamberlain…


Peter Spencer has 40 years experience as a Political Correspondent in Westminster, working with London Broadcasting and Sky News. For more of his wonderful takes on the turbulent political landscape, follow him on Facebook & Twitter.