Archive for the 'Article 50' Category


A massive Westminster day ends with TMay still in place

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

The “bloody difficult woman” will be difficult to shift

Although I disagree with her on so many things you can but admire the way she is holding on and battling forward in spite of all the obstacles and setbacks. This was always going to be a very difficult period for the Prime Minister who took over shortly after the referendum in July 2016 never more so than today.

Throughout she has made as her objective ensuring that the referendum outcome is delivered while at the same time seeking to safeguard the economy. We have seen over the years how Conservative Party can be hideously difficult for a leader to navigate when it comes to things relating to the EU as has been illustrated so much today. This was never going to be easy.

Dominic Raab the Brexit secretary who has quit had a lot of coverage during the day and it is probably the first time many have had a good look at him. I’m less than impressed. He’s a lightweight especially when it comes to comparisons with the Prime Minister. He would have done his position much more good if the resignation has come after last night’s cabinet meeting and not today.

I thought Moggsy’s announcement that he had sent a letter in to the 1922 committee chair would be the trigger for the other 47 letters that would start a leadership process. So far that hasn’t happened and suggests a lack of organisation if indeed there is an ousting plot in place.

Whatever this is all a welcome break from Mr. Trump.

Mike Smithson


The Brexit deal is being put to the Cabinet one by one

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

But what are the chances of success?

So the brexit process moves a step forward with a broad agreement that Theresa May now has to sell to her cabinet, then her party, and then the House of Commons.

Each of these hurdles looks insurmountable but then Theresa May has got over many obstacles in the 18 months since she lost the party its majority and is determined enough to push this as hard as she is able.

If Brexiteers like BoJo simply keep on with their tedious repetition of the phrase “vassal state” without doing any serious thinking then she might have a chance.

    At the end of the day the choice for MPs looks set to be between her Deal, No Deal, and the possibility of Mr Corbyn becoming PM. The latter is as horrifying to many Labour MPs as it is to Tories.

The betting markets move towards the UK leaving the EU as planned on March 29th.

Bring on BINO.

Mike Smithson


We could be heading for crossover in the “UK to leave EU on Mar 29th 2019” betting

Monday, November 12th, 2018


It’s now 54-46

The above betting market is one of the most active at the moment and as can be seen there’s a growing sense that the UK might not leave the EU on March 29th 2019 as planned and laid down in the Article 50 process.

A lot of this represents the current political reaction to the latest state of negotiations and the talk of a possible second referendum. There’s also the Brexit court case in Scotland.

I’m far from certain about how this is going to move forward but there’s no doubt that Jo Johnson’s resignation as a minister last week is having an impact. The calls for another referendum are getting stronger.

The only problem is timing and whether the Article 50 process could be elongated to or indeed the question of what happens if a deal is not reached.

Mike Smithson


The pound rises on the FOREX markets after the BrexSec reports that a deal maybe only three weeks away

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Raab names November 21st as the date

There’ve been developments in the government’s negotiations with the EU on Brexit, with Dominic Raab, saying in a letter to MPs on the Brexit committee that he will be willing to give evidence once a deal was finalised and that they currently expected November 21st to be suitable.

It appears that the government is looking to finalise a deal at the meeting of the European Council schedule for mid November a timing which would allow this TMay to get backing for the package, whatever it is, from MPs before Christmas.

Whatever the final details are this move creates a level of certainty which business and others have been seeking ever since the referendum outcome on June 23rd 2016.

    For many the fact a deal is in prospect is far more important than the detail and that is TMay’s great strength.

In his letter Raab said that the EU had accepted a UK plan for a partial solution to the Northern Ireland issue which would avoid a hard border. This has been a sticking point for a long time and made more complicated by the fact that the government is reliant on the DUP for its support in the event of a confidence vote.

On Betfair it is now it’s 62% chance on the market that Britain will leave the EU as planned on March 29th next year.

Once the deal is agreed the next stage is for it to get through the Commons and it is far from certain whether MPs will accept it.

Mike Smithson


The new regime at the Daily Mail is going to make it make it harder to oust TMay

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Now the plotters are being dubbed the “peacocking saboteurs”

One of the most important things that happened to British politics this autumn was the change of editors at the Daily Mail. Hardline brexiteer, Sir Paul Dacre, is no longer in the post which is now held by pro-Remain, Geordie Greig.

In my post on the ending of the Dacre era in mid-August I noted:

” The changeover could… impact on whether there’s a CON leadership challenge and the position of the Etonian hard line Brexiter duo of Moggsy and BoJo. It is hard to see them getting the backing from Greig that you’d expect Dacre to have given?”

Today’s Mail front page is very much in line with the change that was envisaged and suggests that the planned “show trial” by the 1922 Committee might not be as daunting for TMay as some were predicting. It is harder for the plotters to undermine her when they are going to be slammed as “saboteurs” on the front page of the Mail.

At the weekend CON MP, Andrew Bridgen, was quoted as saying This week, Theresa May will find that she is drinking in the last chance saloon and the bad news for her is that the bar is already dry.” Such overblown rhetoric is being trumped and the plotters can expect a rough time from the paper if it goes the way that they were predicting.

My guess is that she will survive certainly in the short to medium term and this is reflected in the betting where there’s been a move back on her exit year.

Meanwhile more on the judgement of ex-BrexSec DDavis

Mike Smithson


Another day closer to March 29th 2019 – the way forward on Brexit remains unclear

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Mike Smithson


Some numbers to show the shallowness of the German car-markers’ Brexit argument

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Mike Smithson


Why I’m betting that that there is a greater than 35% chance that Brexit won’t happen next March 29th as planned

Monday, October 15th, 2018

If no deal becomes more likely the less chance of the date being met

Another week starts with growing uncertainty over whether a Brexit deal will be possible. Things have got so much more complicated and seeing a way through the fog is going to be massively challenging for the PM and her close advisors.

Keiran Pedley’s Tweet above raises a feature of No Deal that I haven’t seen discussed much. That people might just say of this is all too difficult so let’s let’s scrap Brexit. That could start to take hold within parts of the electorate and the mood could change quite sharply.

Whatever there are a huge number of obstacles to be surmounted before the official leaving day of March 29th next year and time is almost exhausted. As it gets closer to the deadline and the stalemate continues you can see pressure building up for at least an Article 50 delay beyond next March. The upcoming European court case on whether the UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50 could add to the delay possibility.

Those politicians who predicted that all this was going to be so so easy have really misread what was involved and no doubt will be reminded of it.

This all leaves the Brexit betting where the Betfair exchange price on the March 29th deadline for exit not being met is now 35%. That offers value because it covers so many scenarios.

Mike Smithson