Punters make it a 58% chance that Britain WON’T leave the EU by March 29 2019

March 7th, 2018

This market could get very busy – time to study the rules

One thing about being a betting exchange like Betfair is that it has to stand in the middle between those who want to place bets and those who want to lay them. This means that in complex markets, which most political ones are, the rules have to be watertight to ensure that there are no arguments and disputes later.

I had a period when I was advising Betfair on its political markets and was involved in a lot of drawing up the actual terms on how bets would be settled.

One that came after my timing is the one above in the chart. What actually do we mean by leaving the EU? This is how the firm defines it:

“For the purposes of this market leaving the EU is defined as the date when the treaties of the EU cease to apply to the UK. Examples of when this might occur include, but are not limited, to: the date specified in a withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU; the end of the two year negotiating period (29/03/2019) as set out by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (or any extension to this time period); or the date of the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act. If more than one of these events were to occur, this market will be settled on the first of these events to occur. In the case of the two year time period in Article 50 being extended, via a unanimous vote by all EU Member States, we will settle this market on the extended date. This market will settle when the UK leaves the EU even if parts of the UK (e.g. Scotland, Northern Ireland) leave the UK or receive special status within the EU.”

My reading is that if it all goes to TMay’s plan and Britain leaves the EU on March 29 next year under the article 50 timetable then the Yes side wins.

But there is lot of amount of water to flow under the bridge in the ensuing months.

Mike Smithson