UK Politics: May vows not to dance to EU's tune and rules out second referendum

British Prime Minister Theresa May
"If I've told you once... " May is ruling out a second referendum on Brexit
Join today View market

The Prime Minster says there will be no second referendum and no compromises on the Chequers plan. Meanwhile, Labour face resignations and Sweden's election is on a knife-edge. Max Liu reports...

"If you want a general election to get stuck into then look at the markets on Sweden where next Sunday's vote could be one of the most significant in the country's history."

There will be no second referendum on Brexit - that's the message from Theresa May writing in today's Sunday Telegraph.

At the end of a week in which the Prime Minister's dance moves went viral, and at the beginning of what will be a turbulent autumn, May says holding another vote on Britain's exit from the European Union would amount to "a gross betrayal of our democracy."

May promises not to compromise on Brexit

A second referendum on Brexit by 2020 is [3.35] on the Exchange - marginally longer than the [3.2] that was available this time last week - so it sounds like bettors are convinced by May's tough talk.

The UK is [1.69] to leave the EU in just over six months - but the two sides in the negotiations are supposed to reach agreement by the end of October, although the deadline could be extended to November. No Brexit deal by the March 2019 deadline is 11/10 (a 48% chance) on Sportsbook.

May also says that she won't compromise on the Chequers plan, regardless of what the EU Brexit negotiators come up with. The Chequers plan proposes a "common rulebook" between the UK and EU for trading in goods, but critics say it will stop Britain from striking its own trade deals.

It will be fascinating over the coming months to see how May balances negotiations in Brussels with pressure from Brexiteers at home. Regardless of what she says today, a second referendum in the next 15 months shouldn't be ruled out and the more the odds drift the more appealing a wager looks.

The other possibility, instead of a second referendum, is a general election before Brexit is complete. The odds on that happening are [3.3].

Frank Field resigns Labour whip

Veteran Labour MP Frank Field resigned the Labour whip this week, citing concerns about antisemitism and other forms of prejudice within the party.

Field has been an MP since 1979 but lost a confidence vote in his local party in July. There are plans to de-select him, before the next general election, by Labour activists who are angry that Field voted with the government on Brexit.

His views are truly mixed, with Field winning praise for fighting the effects of austerity in his Birkenhead constituency, at the same time as drawing criticism from the left for his opposition to immigration. In 2015, Field was one of the Labour MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership.

Field has not ruled out standing as an independent candidate if there's a by-election in his Birkenhead constituency. That would be an intriguing prospect as constituents are reportedly divided in their views on Field.

This might not be the last Labour resignation before this autumn's conference, with more rumoured to be on the cards. At the end of a bruising summer, with the leadership facing relentless accusations of anti-Semitism, Labour are two points behind the Tories in the latest YouGov poll and trading at [2.16] to win the next general election.

Swedish election looks too close to call

If you want a general election to get stuck into then have a look at the markets on Sweden. Some commentators are calling next Sunday's vote the most significant in Sweden's history, as the far-right Sweden Democrats bid to disrupt the country's political consensus.

The party have gained traction during this campaign with the kind of anti-immigration message that has helped similar rabbles in Germany and Italy. They're [2.34] to win the most seats which means that, although they shouldn't gain enough votes to govern outright, they could be a major player in the next parliament.

The Social Democratic party are [1.75] to win most seats but, if they have to form a minority government or a coalition with the Moderate party, the Sweden Democrats will have enough MPs to demand concessions. The outcome next Sunday will have major repercussions in a country that's often held up as model of social democracy.

Join today View market

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles