Brexit Update: Labour’s clearer plan could prove significant

This piece was originally published on February 8th, 2019 for

After months of uncertainty and speculation regarding several different outcomes to Brexit, we can all but rule one out. There will be no second referendum in 2020. As Donald Tusk said before his now infamous criticism of Brexiters without a plan, there is no political leadership for Remain.

It is now rated just 18% likely on Betfair at odds of 5.5. It may return as a talking point if all other options to resolve the crisis fail – John McDonnell suggested it was still on the table earlier in what was probably a party unity tactic – but it is a longshot at best and almost out of time to arrange this year.

When and what type of Brexit does eventually prevail, however, remains far from clear. The UK remains on course to leave on 29/03/19 unless the law changes. Parliament may be opposed in principle but it hasn’t united around a means of stopping it and, on recent form, are hardly certain to do so.

Evidently from the Tusk row, negotiations are stalled and becoming more acrimonious. The fallout from his comments made life much harder for compromise-seeking MPs.

Why, therefore, aren’t the odds about either an On Time Brexit or No Deal shortening with each day of inaction? The former is still available to back at 3.65 (27%), the latter 4.2 (24%). Both will be settled on 29/03/19 unless Article 50 is extended. While officially anathema to Theresa May, an extension is rated overwhelmingly likely at 1.33 (75%).

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