SBC Bookies Corner: Sprechen Sie Brexit?

With just six months left for the UK to negotiate its withdrawal from the European Union, the country appears divided and rudderless with regards to its future.

Whilst political rumours are rife with regards to negotiations and career manoeuvres, critical Brexit questions remain unanswered…SBC gets the bookies lowdown as the UK enters crunch time Brexit!

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Sarbjit Bakhshi – Smarkets

SBC: With under six months to negotiate an agreed EU withdrawal plan, does Brexit simply point towards a ‘No Deal’ or ‘2nd Referendum’ scenario? Is this market now a coin-toss? 

Sarbjit Bakhshi (Head of Politics – Smarkets): Our markets on two different referenda suggest that another national vote is unlikely, while our ‘no-deal Brexit’ market is nip and tuck between Yes and No. So with under six months to negotiate an EU withdrawal plan, whatever happens, our markets don’t imply that there will be a referendum to sort it out.

At present, another In/out referendum is pretty consistent at 72% for No, while the market on the People’s Vote (a three-option referendum), is also in favour of No at 83%.

On the No-deal Brexit market, we’ve has seen some movement in recent months, with No largely in the lead until recent weeks when it has become extremely tight.

Matt Shaddick – Ladbrokes

SBC: Brexit will dominate the conferences of both Labour & Conservative parties. Should we expect any rebel alliances to make a move on Party leadership? Will Theresa or Jeremy be dethroned within the next six months

Matt Shaddick (Head of Politics – Ladbrokes): Theresa May is on borrowed time if the betting markets (and most pundits) are to believed. She’s 4/6 to be replaced as PM at some point in 2019 and I guess it would make a lot of sense for the Tories to leave her in place until the scheduled Brexit departure date and then make a change at some point after.

Corbyn isn’t totally safe either, we’re only 2/1 that he goes during 2019. I’ve never thought he looked particularly happy about being party leader; it was anything he’d ever craved after or expected, so I could easily see him making way for someone else, once he can be sure the leadership rules ensure a succession to one who will continue the project.

Chuck in Vince Cable’s expected departure, and it’s only about a 4/1 shot that all three of those party leaders are gone by the end of next year.

Harry Lang – Brand Architects

SBC: How do you anticipate the UK political landscape to change post-Brexit? Will we see any new faces in UK politics to replace the tired cast of Brexit?

Harry Lang (MD – Brand Architects): The consequences of Brexit, regardless of the final outcome will be far-reaching and generational for the UK in terms of its politics, economy, culture and global standing. Brexit will not simply end on 30 March 2019.

Despite deep-rooted splits, at present, it appears that both Conservative and Labour parties will stick with their lead actors of Theresa and Jeremy until an exit deal is agreed on or a Snap Election is called.

Nevertheless, I would advise bookmakers and punters to begin searching for ‘the fresh blood’ within UK politics.

The all-encompassing nature of Brexit (the referendum, negotiations, in-fighting etc) has kneecapped UK politics mindset, with no party or leader being able to sell a positive vision or direction for the UK post-2019.

At present, UK political parties are represented by Theresa May (61), Jeremy Corbyn (69) and Vince Cable (75). I believe that in 2019, the nation will be calling for someone to flip-the-script or change the narrative of UK politics, let’s see if something is actually delivered.

Lee Price – Paddy Power

SBC: To date, the UK’s EU withdrawal has been marred by contradictions, in-fighting, back-stabbing, public humiliations and troubled partnerships. Is Brexit the new ‘Love Island’? 

Lee Price (Head of PR – Paddy Power): It’s certainly less entertaining, but with a similar sense of doom in terms of the various relationships being played out.

The main similarities between the two farcical shows are that both feature an isolated island, detached from reality, starring personalities who have grandiose opinions of themselves. And a few posh lads, too.

Right now, all the betting momentum is with a second EU referendum, even if we still don’t think it’s particularly likely, and for the answer to be ‘remain’ should that happen.

Then again, that was the most popular pick pre the original referendum, too, and look how that’s turned out. Oh, and a General Election pre-Christmas? Just what Theresa May needs to boost her ratings…

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