UK Politics: An Election more Likely than a Referendum as Brexit Delay ‘Inevitable’

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this past Sunday morning, Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told members of the UK parliament that an extension of Brexit’s Article 50 “may well be inevitable now“.

There are no customs arrangements in place and no legislation on tariffs. There are no IT systems in place either. It is ridiculous to suggest it can be done.’

Article 50, the official document that finalises the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, legislates that the UK must leave the EU on March 29th this year. However, with the agreement of MP’s, an extension could be negotiated with the European Commission.

Following the statement, Betfair increased its odds on a Brexit delay to 2/7.

A general election or a second referendum?

With both Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn against the idea of a second Brexit referendum, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that one will happen. Combined with the fact that Theresa May recently suffered the biggest defeat in parliamentary history and only narrowly survived a resulting vote of no confidence, it’s becoming increasingly likely that a snap general election will occur instead.

Despite the embattled PM insisting that there won’t be one, Betfair give strong odds of 7/5 that a snap general election will occur this year.

Bet365 and Betfred, meanwhile, give odds of only 7/5 that a second referendum will be implemented.

In the event of an election, the Conservative party remain the most likely candidates to win, with an average of 10/11 odds from Ladbroke, William Hill, Betfair and Coral. Labour is not far behind with equal 1/1 odds from Bet365, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.

For either event to occur, however, an Article 50 extension would need to be agreed upon first. With almost no time left now to renegotiate a new deal, the UK faces the possibility of leaving the EU with ‘no deal’ should Article 50 not be extended. However, with both Jeremy Corbyn and the House of Commons fighting vehemently to avoid a no-deal Brexit, that’s unlikely to happen.

Betfair gives fairly weak odds of only 5/1 that the UK will leave the EU with no deal.

Published by Mark Hartley

Mark is a freelance journalist and copywriter focused on the travel and technology sector. With prior experience working in the London finance and IT industry, he has written for several publications including blockchain, gambling and fitness websites. Contact him at

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