Bettors Remain Hopeful Of Brexit Deal Extension As Odds Fall

Bettors Remain Hopeful Of Brexit Deal Extension As Odds Fall
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The UK and EU could still agree a Brexit trade deal before the year is out, or even push talks into 2021, politics betting data suggests.

The UK voted to leave the European Union back in 2016 and officially left the trading block at the end of January.

However, trade talks over a future deal between the UK and EU have rumbled on all year, with the transition period set to end on January 1.

Right now talks are poised at an impasse over free trade, state aid and fisheries – and UK prime minister Boris Johnson said negotiations were “over” and that the country must prepare for No Deal.

Yet it appears as though the political betting markets are not reflecting Johnson’s rhetoric.

Brexit Odds Defy UK Stance

Two markets in particular suggest punters are backing a deal to go ahead, or the transition period to be extended.

The odds on a deal being agreed before the end of the year have come in from 5/2 to 2/1. This is despite the clear obstacles that hang over the Brexit talks, although the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has admitted talks could re-open.

"We will seek the necessary compromises on both sides in order to reach an agreement and we will do so right up until the last day until it's possible to do so. Our doors will remain open until the very end,” Barnier said.

Meanwhile, the odds on trade talks being extended into 2021 – and thus avoiding a No Deal Brexit on New Year’s Day – have come in from Evens (1/1) to 1/2.

It suggests there is confidence among punters that a compromise will be found between the UK and EU, even if neither side fully gets what they want.

Brexit: Next Steps

The UK have placed the ball truly in the EU’s court after insisting trade talks are over unless the bloc shifts on a number of stances.

“There needs to be a fundamental change in approach from the EU if the process is to get back on track,” said minister Michael Gove.

And Barnier’s offer to compromise appears to have opened a door for a potential progression of talks.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “We note with interest that the EU's negotiator, speaking to the European Parliament (on Wednesday) morning, has commented in a significant way on the issues behind the current difficulties in our talks.

“We are studying carefully what was said. (UK negotiator) David Frost will discuss the situation when he speaks to Michel Barnier later today.”

The UK has already resigned itself to not being able to agree a ‘Canada-style deal’ with the EU – a trade agreement that took seven years to negotiate.