Smarkets: A50 extension likely as DUP shuts down Boris’ deal

With only two weeks to go until the UK is due to leave the European Union, the UK government this afternoon presented its withdrawal terms, yet bookmakers are sceptical of a ‘Halloween departure’ on 31 October as markets trade at 78% for an Article 50 extension. 

Online betting exchange Smarkets has reported a spike in trading this morning following the news that Boris Johnson had managed to secure a new deal with the EU, with markets on the UK leaving the EU on October 31 jumping from 18% to 45%. 

However, confidence took a knock following the announcement that Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) would not support the deal, stating that PM Johnson’s ‘deal weakens the union’. 

Furthermore, Johnson’s deal faces opening potential rifts between ‘Tory Brexit Spartans’ in the ERG, who state that they will not support a ‘dressed up Theresa May deal’. 

Sarbjit Bakhshi, Head of Political Markets, explained: “The reported news that the EU has agreed a new Withdrawal Agreement means that there has been increased trading this morning on our markets. However, the increased expectation that the UK will leave the EU with a deal may not survive contact with the DUP.

“Without DUP support, Johnson may be relying on Labour to get this deal through, coupled with a promise of a second confirmatory referendum. Abandoning the DUP for Labour support is a gutsy move, and time will tell if this pays off.”

Punters have had some faith in the UK leaving the European Union with a new deal, which has been traded at 18% this morning, while 4% are expecting the UK to crash out without an agreement.

Ladbrokes has priced another referendum taking place before the end of 2020 as 6/4 following Jeremy Corbyn’s statement this morning, while a UK general election comes in at 4/5. 

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