With newly installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson making his intentions known last week, that his government is to prorogue parliament in order to issue a new Queen Speech in October, bookies are continuing to take bets on a no deal Brexit.
For a majority of political commentators and amateur politicos among the general public, Johnson’s move to prorogue parliament for the majority of September and during the first couple of weeks in October, is a calculated move to limit parliamentary discourse over the issue of the UK leaving the EU.
With a Brexit extension provided to Theresa May’s previous government due to run out on 31st October, the UK is set to leave the EU on that date, regardless whether a deal is reached or not. By Johnson proroguing parliament for a total of 35 days, this will seriously limit the time frame for members of parliament to be able to stop the UK leaving with no deal.
Indeed many remain supporters such as ex chancellor Phillip Hammond are of the view that this is Johnson’s intention, for the UK to leave with no deal, being the preferred option of his chief advisor, Dominic Cummings.
However, others such as Brexiteer in Chief, Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party, form the view that Johnson actually does want a deal, a deal very similar to May’s failed Withdrawal Agreement, minus the thorny issue of the Irish Backstop.
Regardless of which view you take, what is certain is that next week is going to make explosive television viewing, with news channels in the UK and no doubt across the EU, featuring wall to wall coverage, as parliamentarians try to take control of the house.
In short, opposing members of parliament only have a week or so to be able to stop a no deal Brexit and like the Cooper Letwin bill that passed by a majority of just one vote, will be hoping to do something similar.
Bookmakers of course are taking a very keen interest, with a potential killing to be made on the outcome as to what happens not only next week, but on Halloween, when the UK is meant to now leave the EU. Deal or No Deal?
Brexit Betting Markets
Just a quick scan of the odds comparison site Oddschecker, shows the numerous types of betting markets available concerning Brexit. From betting on an outright No Deal exit, where you can get odds as short as 4/6 with the likes of Paddy Power and bet365.
With bets on Article 50 actually being revoked as long as 11/4. With those odds being in my view actually short, as the chances of Article 50 now being revoked are between slim and none as ‘The Greatest’ once proffered. With slim being out of town!
Other popular markets to get involved in, include the date as to when Brexit actually happens. Whilst the 31st October is the de-facto date when the UK leaves, there are growing rumours that the French President Macron, who was so insistent on only providing a 6 month extension, is now open to moving the date further down the line.
As such, the bookies are taking bets on a multitude number of dates. These range from 31st October 2019 to not before 2022 and anywhere else in between.
Other specials available for punters to get involved in, are whether a UK General Election will occur before Brexit does. Now this is an interesting market in itself, as Jeremy Corbyn could finally call the vote of confidence he has been threatening to bring for what seems like a lifetime.
If opposition members of parliament succeed in a motion of no confidence in the government, then not only would a no deal Brexit be up in the air, but the potential for a new government administration in the UK, perhaps led by a minority ‘coalition of the willing’ could occur. Certainly one for those that like a flutter to ponder over.
More obscure markets include whether the UK will have to introduce food rationing! Now if you are a fully signed up member of ‘Project Fear’ and believe that Godzilla and also the Marshmallow Man from the 1984 Ghostbusters movie are going to tag team up and rampage through London, then this might be your chance to strike rich!
Whatever happens over the course of the next 8 weeks in the run up to 31st October, if you are the type of person that likes to bet on non sporting events, then British politics currently, is potentially ripe for rich pickings!