Italy Favourites To Leave EU Next As UK Face No Deal Brexit

Italy Favourites To Leave EU Next As UK Face No Deal Brexit
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Italy is the most likely nation to leave the EU next and follow the UK with its own Brexit-style withdrawal, according to the latest politics betting odds.

A number of European countries have seen anti-EU and anti-immigration parties flourish in recent years, with France, Austria, Hungary and Netherlands all boasting some form of UKIP-style presence.

In Italy, discontent with the bloc has been growing since the 2018 general election, during which the populist League and Five Star Movement parties were brought to power.

The parties have pushed anti-immigration, Euroscepticism and populism as their main policies, but have also been balanced out by the Democratic Party’s left-wing stance.

And before the coronavirus pandemic took a serious grip on the nation, Italy seemed on a likely course to a referendum on leaving the EU.

Italy Exit Odds

Covid-19 has certainly brought the issue of European Union membership to the forefront of Italian politics. Italy has been one of the worst-affected countries of the virus, with over 325,000 confirmed cases and 36,000 deaths since February.

And the debate over how the EU has eased or exacerbated Italy’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak is raging. A recent poll suggested 49% of Italians are now in favour of withdrawing from the EU – that number was 29% at the end of 2018.

Furthermore, 40% of Italians are happy to leave the EU but stay in the eurozone.

The growing resentment towards the EU – reportedly fuelled by the country needing to source protective equipment from China and Russia, rather than other states within the bloc – has caused betting markets to lean towards an Italian Exit.

Italy is now 3/1 to be the next country to leave the EU, with Greece at 6/1, France 8/1 and Hungary out at 14/1. Remarkably, all three countries have had their run-ins with the EU and contended with populist movements from within their own borders — but Italy’s resentment towards the bloc appears to be stronger.

Monitoring Brexit

The Italexit Party launched in July as a split from Five Star Movement, and eyes are on the UK as to how their withdrawal from the EU pans out.

So far the UK has laboured to find any common ground with the EU on a trade deal that was the Brexiteers’ cornerstone pledge back in 2016. Arguments over fishing rights, free trade, freedom of movement and potential breaches of the Good Friday Agreement have frustrated the process for four years.

The latest pledge from Boris Johnson’s government is that the UK is leaving the EU – trade deal or not – on January 1, 2021.

Italian – as well as French, German and Spanish – politicians are said to be watching the UK closely. Should the nation prove within five years that leaving the EU was worthwhile, then Italy could well take the leap with their own referendum.