Theresa May’s Brexit deal has received scant support in Parliament. The prime minister has faced criticism from the opposition as well as some within her own party over what she says is the “the best deal available.” Now, as the deadline for the vote approaches, the odds of the embattled deal passing in parliament are looking less and less likely.
Bookmakers have slashed odds on the deal being rejected from 1/7 to 1/20.
Leon Blanche, Head of Communications for Boylesports said: “There’s a few days of debate ahead in the House of Commons but it’s very difficult to see how Theresa May can turn this round with such a tide of opposition against her.
“It now looks almost impossible for her to get the withdrawal agreement ratified in parliament and punters have forced the priced into as short as 1/20 for it to be voted down.”
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And as news broke on Tuesday of Britain’s possible power to abandon Brexit and Article 50, odds on a second referendum also reflected the public mood.
Mr Blanche said: “A second referendum not to happen before 2020 is still the current favourite at 4/6.
“There has been however strong support in the betting over the last 24 hours for one to take place which has forced our traders to cut the price into 11/10 from 11/8 .”
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What happens if the vote is rejected?
This is an unprecedented moment for the country, so what might happen if the deal is rejected is uncertain.
But we can assume some version of the following might occur:
1: UK seeks extension to Article 50 and has another go at negotiating. The EU has said they won’t allow this, but they probably would as they don’t want no-deal.
2: Second referendum: Either Brexit is abandoned or we try re-negotiate (back to option 1)
3: Vote of no confidence in Theresa May (likely in any case if the deal is rejected) and a potential general election. This would, again, lead to renegotiating, so back to outcome 1.
4: The UK leaves the EU on March 29 with no deal.
The vote needs 318 ‘yes’ votes in Parliament to pass.
Whatever motion the government brings back to Parliament will now have to be amendable, after MPs backed a change to it tabled by Conservative MP Dominic Grieve.
MPs are hoping this will allow them to vote to rule-out a no-deal Brexit.
The government would find it hard to ignore such a vote – but it would not carry the legal force to stop the UK leaving without a deal next March.