Brexit has once again dominated the UK headlines, with questions now being raised as to who may be replacing Theresa May as Prime Minister if she is to step down.
With MPs set to convene in the House of Commons this evening to vote yet again on Theresa May’s deal, it appears that the country is more divided than ever. With over one million people taking to the streets of London to call for the Government to revoke Article 50, bookmakers have seen a flurry of votes suggesting that the public are in favour of either delaying or cancelling brexit all together.
Sarbjit Bakhshi, Head of Political Markets at Smarkets, explained to SBC that the recent petition to revoke Article 50 – which is currently at over 5.9m signatures – demonstrates a wish to remain in the European Union.
Markets initially suggested that the petition, despite being dismissed by Parliament earlier in the week, was expected to gain 6m signatures by 30 March. However, the market has since flipped, with the exchange implying that the petition will not receive as many signatures as expected.
Bakhshi told SBC: “With time running out and no consensus in the House of Commons, a revocation of Article 50 would take the time pressure of Parliament and pave the way to a slower Brexit of remaining in the EU.
“Theresa May may be gambling on the pressure, pushing parliamentarians to support her deal and leading to a Brexit in a couple of weeks. Without the pressure, this situation may never fully resolve.”
But with further disruption in Parliament, Theresa May has promised MPs that if her deal is to pass in tonight’s vote, she will resign. This has opened up a competition as to who will replace May, with Michael Gove and Boris Johnson earmarked as the favourites.
Bakhshi continued: “The last few days have had Michael Gove and Boris Johnson compete for top place in out market. With last traded prices at 18% for Johnson and Gove, the market can’t seem to resolve which one of them is more likely to get the top job, but what is clear is how far ahead they are of the competition with Dominic Raab in third place at 12%”
Tonight’s vote, according to Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom “really is the last chance” to pass a deal, but with many Labour MPs expected to vote against the deal, it is beginning to look a lot like a “blindfold Brexit.”
Whatever happens with Brexit, there will be a number of implications for the gambling industry with the racing Tripartite agreement under threat, and European-based operators moving their businesses elsewhere.