Brexit: Deal or no Deal

It’s been the most divisive issue in British politics for decades and it’s not over yet. In June 2016, the UK public managed to upset the political betting markets by voting to leave the European Union but three years on, we’re still here and seemingly refusing to budge.

Two consecutive Conservative Prime Ministers have attempted to get an exit deal through parliament but with the party lacking an overall majority, those attempts have been frustrated. Can they succeed before the end of 2019? If you have a strong opinion on the matter then why not head over to Unibet’s Brexit betting markets to get involved.

Yes or No?

Betting on Brexit can be a complicated process in certain parts of the industry but we’ve made things very simple for our customers. At present, there is just one bet to consider with current odds of 20/1 available for the UK to leave the European Union without a deal by the 31st of December 2019.

If you take up this bet, it will pay out if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement as approved by both parties by this date. If Article 50 is either revoked or extended beyond 31/12/2019, bets will be settled as NO.

It’s a very simple choice but the process behind it is far from straightforward. However, with generous odds of 20/1 on the table for a No Deal Brexit before the end of the year, it’s worth assessing the chances of it coming in.

Get it Done

There may be a number of aspects to the Conservative Party Manifesto ahead of the UK General Election on December 12, but the campaign seems to revolve around one message. If the soundbite has yet to bury itself into your subconscious mind, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the ruling Conservative party pledge to ‘get Brexit done.’

We are told that there is a deal and that it’s ‘oven ready’, but if you haven’t the patience after three and a half years of waiting, you can simply ‘pop it into the microwave.’

For those who voted ‘leave’ this is the best scenario while many remainers have also tired of the process. If, however, Brexit follows this path then the 20/1 on a No Deal situation will not pay out as an agreement, whether it’s oven ready, microwave from frozen or boil in the bag, will be in place.

We now move on to the next question: Will Boris Johnson and the Conservatives have a mandate to finally get a Brexit deal over the line?

Hung, Drawn and Quartered

The Conservatives returned to power in 2010 but have had to form coalitions with other parties and that’s partly behind the impasse on Brexit. If the tories manage to get an overall majority this time around, the Prime Minister’s deal will surely be easier to pass, so much will rely on the upcoming General Election on December 12.

To assess this in greater depth, we can look at odds published by Unibet in the Overall Majority market. A first glance isn’t that encouraging for those backing a no deal Brexit as odds of 2/5 are available on the Conservative Party gaining an overall majority in the forthcoming General Election. Meanwhile, punters can claim a price of 11/5 on another hung parliament but while the odds setters aren’t necessarily in support, the opinion polls suggest otherwise.

Off to the Polls

Election markets have been quite fluid since the December 12 vote was announced and those opinion polls have tended to reflect that movement. One constant factor in their findings shows the Tories maintaining a lead but their percentage share would not be enough to secure an overall majority.

If that’s the case, what happens next? That’s a question with almost infinite possibilities and this is where you, the bettor, need to step in and make a decision. Will a hung parliament, led by the Conservatives in a pact with - oh let’s use the Brexit Party as an example, lead to a further run of refusals to back the Prime Minister’s proposed deal with the EU? In turn, will this lead to the inevitable conclusion that is a No Deal Brexit?

If Leaving EU is easy…

Another potential barrier to an acceptable Brexit Deal lies with the European Union but they seem pretty cool about matters and this is where we can make sense of the ‘oven ready’ soundbite. The EU approved Boris Johnson’s latest deal but, with parliament blocking the arrangement, a further extension was put in place and the Election was called.

It would, therefore, seem obvious to suggest that a Conservative majority would automatically lead to a deal being finally agreed but latest reports suggest that this may not be the case. With exactly one week to go until that election, the Independent newspaper claims that Boris Johnson has a limited time to avoid a no deal Brexit if the ruling Conservative Party are re-elected.

The claims came in the wake of a press conference that was cut short when the Prime Minister was challenged on the subject of leaving the EU without a free trade agreement. He continues to avoid ruling out the possibility of No Deal and his bullish claim to ‘Get Brexit Done’ has been described as a ‘fallacy’ by the Liberal Democrats.

Verdict

While it may sound strange, the General Election campaign has actually provided us with a welcome respite from Brexit. Yes, all the parties may be discussing the issue as the focal point of their manifestos but the day to day bargaining and futile voting at Westminster will have to wait until, rather appropriately, Friday the 13th.

Whoever gets into power will look to resolve the Brexit issue as a priority but there is very little time to get anything agreed before the end of the year. We suspect, therefore, that the UK will not leave, with a deal or otherwise, before 2019 comes to a close but if you disagree, those 20/1 odds could represent exceptional value.

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