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With just eight days to go before the end of the Brexit transition the majority of those polled say they’d support an extension

With just eight days to go before the end of the Brexit transition the majority of those polled say they’d support an extension

My guess on this one is that there will be some conclusion before the year end with Johnson preferring to resolve this according to the original timetable. After all his winning slogan at GE2019 was “Get Brexit Done” – though whether he is happy with a no deal I am not convinced. The current issues with cross-channel trucks is probably a taster for what a no deal might look like and, indeed, Michael Barnier, is making this point in seeking…

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Punters losing confidence that there’ll be a deal before the end of the year

Punters losing confidence that there’ll be a deal before the end of the year

While everything is so focused on the pandemic punters on the Smarkets betting exchange are becoming less confident that Johnson will be able to reach a deal in the few days that are left. Clearly with all the other distractions and the organisational constraints that COVID leads to it must be a massive challenge for ministers as they move into the EU end game. From the reports we have the big issue remains fishing and the accessibility of EU nations…

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Punters remain confident that there will be a deal

Punters remain confident that there will be a deal

The trend on the Smarkets exchange is very clear – punters now rate it a 75% chance that there will be a deal by the end of the month and certainly the apparent concession by Boris appears to have gone down well in Brussels. The chart shows the ups and downs in betting opinion over the 11 months and all the talk a few days ago that no deal was inevitable has changed. Like all bets of this nature iit…

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The Ballad of No Deal “WTO” Brexit

The Ballad of No Deal “WTO” Brexit

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a ma … I’m an interesting and important character. I don’t exist, will never exist, yet I lurk in the minds of millions and am discussed and written about constantly. Most fear me, some worship, only the hardiest, most detached souls are indifferent. Am I the Devil? No. As I say, I don’t exist. The Devil might. And He is not trading at a ridiculously short price in the current betting markets. Who…

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In the betting a “deal” moves to a 72% chance following positive vibes from the talks

In the betting a “deal” moves to a 72% chance following positive vibes from the talks

While all eyes in the US are focused on the Electoral College vote count which is taking place today in Europe there’ve been positive indications from the talks in Brussels with the EU and UK agreeing to keep talks on a trade agreement going. There are still differences but there does appear to be a desire on both sides to find an agreement and this is what has driven the changes on Smarkets exchange betting market as in their chart…

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Some Definitions

Some Definitions

“Democracy in Europe” by Larry Siedentop, written when the EU was trying to draft a constitution is, despite its age, worth a read. Surprising as it may seem, given the US’s own current democratic difficulties, the outsider’s analysis of what constitutions mean, how they are arrived at, different views of democracy and how these interact with a Continent’s history, culture and religions is acute. It is one which European and British politicians would have done well to consider before embarking…

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The Martingale system

The Martingale system

It’s not exactly gone as Leavers planned, has it?  We’ve reached the stage where they’re angrily blaming everyone else for the outcome, while simultaneously trying to claim that it’s glorious.  It’s hard not to wince watching them doing the splits. For it turns out that many of the things that Remainers said were true.  It wasn’t possible to leave the EU with the exact same benefits.  It wasn’t the easiest deal in history.  The eagles aren’t coming and the German…

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What is a level playing field?

What is a level playing field?

As we approach the ultra-final round of discussions, it may be useful to set out what the level playing field argument is actually about. Leaving emotions aside, it’s not essentially an argument about muscle-flexing or sovereignty, but a practical choice. In general, I’m a reformist – I like seeing countries take the initiative to make changes that other countries may not be ready for. Otherwise, reforms take much longer, as you have to hang around waiting for everyone to agree….

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