Brexit Latest: 'No deal' odds narrow as May hits back at 'disrespectful' EU
The Prime Minister's Brexit plans are in disarray after EU leaders rejected the Chequers deal on a dramatic day in Salzburg. Max Liu looks at the Betfair market reaction...
"The UK is supposed to leave the UK on March 29 next year - Exchange bettors still make that odds-on to happen - but, according to the Brexit markets on the Sportsbook, it's now a 40% chance that the country will fail to reach agreement with the EU by that deadline."
The UK is 6/4 to crash out of the European Union without a deal after EU leaders rejected Theresa May's Brexit plans in what's being reported as an ambush at a dramatic summit in Salzburg.
On Friday, a still furious PM made an extraordinary speech at Downing Street, in which she accused EU leaders of showing disrespect towards the UK. She said:
"Throughout this process, I have treated the EU with nothing but respect. The UK expects the same. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it.At this late stage in the negotiations, it is not acceptable to simply reject the other side's proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals."
The PM was clearly reeling from her trip to Austria where EU leaders took turns to dismiss the British government's proposals. The consequences could be dire for Brexit and, although May is 1/4 to still be PM by April 1 next year, there could be implications for her premiership, as she now looks weakened in Brussels and at home.
Chequers won't work, say EU leaders
In Salzburg, May saw her Chequers plan for Brexit savaged by leaders of other member countries, including French president Emmanuel Macron and Brussels officials, such as European Council president Donald Tusk.
The consensus among the EU leaders is that neither May's trade plan, nor her proposals for the Irish border, will work, so it could well be back to the drawing board for the PM.
Brexiteers demand May chuck Chequers
The events in Salzburg have prompted hardline Brexiteers in the UK, who have always opposed the Chequers plan, to urge May to rethink her approach to the negotiations.
The UK is supposed to leave the UK on March 29 next year - Exchange bettors still make that odds-on to happen - but, according to the Brexit markets on the Sportsbook, it's now a 40% chance that the country will fail to reach agreement with the EU by that deadline.
Any agreement will need to be ratified by the UK Parliament - an enormous challenge in itself - so would have to be agreed in Brussels this autumn.
May to face divided party at Tory conference
With just over a week to go until the Conservative Party conference, the Brexiteers on the Tory backbenches will feel emboldened by Salzburg. They will see the EU leaders' stubbornness as a sign that May should abandon the Chequers plan and go on the offensive, risking a no deal Brexit.
That puts May under immense pressure. Bettors still think May is the PM to deliver Brexit, with the UK [1.55] to leave the EU before May leaves office. A general election to be held before Brexit, meanwhile, is [3.45].