Betting On Britain To Rejoin The EU Following Brexit
Brexit caused more political and social turmoil than any other event in the last generation. Despite Theresa May’s government finding a mutual position with the EU that deal was rejected by the British parliament on the 15th January 2019, with just over 10 weeks before the country was due to leave.
This resulted eventually in a Tory leadership change with Boris Johnson coming in. He was able to negotiate a modified deal but was unable to get this through in a time frame that suited him, which lead to another snap election in December 2019. Having won a large majority the UK officially left the EU on the 31st January 2020.
The following year saw the corona virus outbreak that put Brexit in second place for a long time. Despite it looking like a no deal outcome would happen a last minute trade agreement was reached on Christmas Eve 2020, the UK then ended the transition period with the EU on 31st December leaving the single market and customs union but retaining largely tariff free access to the market.
Therefore, that is the end of the EU question, right? Well, not quite, as with Scottish Independence the questions will never go away and there are already campaigns for Britain to rejoin the EU. Of course, as with most political markets you can bet on that too, along with a host of other Brexit specials relating to the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
On this page we look at some of the best opportunities for betting on Britain’s relationship with the EU in the future. If you would like to see more about betting on the next General Election or future party leaders please see our dedicated pages.
A Brief History Of Brexit
In January of 2013 the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, was giving a speech at Bloomberg. During this speech he happened to mention that he would be in favour of launching an in-out referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
In essence his hope was that victory in the referendum would silence the Euro-skeptics in the Conservative Party who had long been a thorn in his side as the premier.
In the build-up to the 2015 General Election the Tories added the idea of giving the people a voice on membership of the EU into their manifesto.
When the Tories then won the election, it became obvious that they would have to stick to their campaign promises and offer a referendum on membership of the European Union unless David Cameron could renegotiate certain aspects of the country’s membership. He failed to do that, so on the 22nd of February 2016 the Prime Minister announced confirmation that a referendum would take place on the 23rd June that year.
What Is Brexit?
Brexit is the shortened term given to (Br)itain’s (exit) from the European Union. The European Union, of course, is the coming together of 28 countries in order to allow them to trade with each other and have their citizens travel and move freely between all of the countries involved.
The United Kingdom originally joined the European Union in 1973 at a time when it was known as the European Economic Community. The reasons for some wanting to leave the EU are numerous and complex in nature, with one of the biggest ones being a feeling that Britain is made to follow EU laws whether they like it or not.
One of the other major topics of debate around the time of the referendum was to do with immigration, with many unhappy that Europeans are free to come and live in work in the UK as long as we’re part of the European Union.
Brexit Timeline Of Events
To date, Brexit has been a multi-faceted process, with twists and turns equivalent to a thrilling political novel. It has asked questions about the very nature of government, with the following being the major moments along the way:
23rd June 2016 – The Referendum
UK citizens took to the polls on the 23rd of June 2016 to vote in an in-out referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.
That is to say, voters could either elect for the country to Leave the EU or Remain in it.
Leave won the vote with 51.9% of the vote compared to the 48.1% voting for Remain. In numerical terms, that was a victory of 17.4 million to 16.1 million, with each individual person’s vote counting.
24th June 2016 – David Cameron Resigns
In the wake of the vote to leave the EU the Prime Minister David Cameron decided to resign his position.
Having called the referendum in the first place, Cameron had campaigned to remain in the European Union and felt that it was not right for him to be the person to lead the country into its exit.
13th July 2016 – Theresa May Becomes Prime Minister
In the wake of David Cameron’s resignation, the Tory party had a leadership election that resulted in the former Home Secretary Theresa May becoming the new Prime Minister. Despite also campaigning to Remain, May was considered to be the best bet to lead the country moving forward.
She promptly announced that there would not be a General Election, in spite of the fact that she did not win an election with the wider country, just the members of the Conservatives.
17th January 2017 – The UK’s Priorities Are Confirmed
Theresa May outlined her plans for the country’s exit from the EU, including prioritising negations on security, workers’ rights, immigration and free trade.
24th January 2017 – Supreme Court Says Brexit Can Be Halted
The Supreme Court looked at the law surrounding Brexit and confirms what the High Court had already said: that Brexit can be halted if the majority of MPs oppose it happening.
2nd February 2017 – White Paper Published
The government produced its so-called White Paper, which is essentially an official report, on the direction that it will take in negotiations with the EU.
29th March 2017 – Article 50 Is Triggered
The Treaty of Lisbon is an agreement between the countries of the EU that forms the bloc’s constitutional basis. It was signed in 2007 and came into force on the 1st of December 2009. Article 50 of the Treaty allows a member state of the European Union to withdraw from it voluntarily upon the reaching of an agreement between both parties.
By triggering Article 50 in March of 2017, Theresa May began a process that gave the United Kingdom 2 years to negotiate its exit from the EU.
18th April 2017 – May Calls Snap Election
Despite insisting from the moment that she became Prime Minister that she was a legitimate leader of the country and no election was necessary to ensure that, Theresa May decided to call an election amidst growing pressure, with the election to be held on the 8th of June.
8th June 2017 – Election Results Announced
Theresa May believed that she was in a position of power when she called the general election, feeling that an increase in her majority would ensure a stronger hand in the Brexit negotiations.
Instead the Tories lost their majority and would have been out of power if not for a decision to form a government alongside the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.
19th June 2017 – Negotiations Begin
The negotiations between Britain and the EU regarding the former’s departure from the Union began on the 19th of June 2017 but end in deadlock.
22nd September 2017 – Key Brexit Points Outlined
Theresa May gave a speech in Italy in September of 2017 in which she chose to outline the most important issues in the Brexit negotiations from the UK’s points of view.
The main factors at hand were the amount of time the UK would be allowed to transition from being in the EU to no longer being a member, known as the transition period, leaving the single market, the fishing grounds that British fisherman could fish in and the border between Northern and Southern Ireland.
13th December 2017 – Parliament Votes To Get Say On Final Brexit Deal
Members of the Conservatives voted alongside opposition MPs to guarantee themselves a say on the final deal struck with Brussels, meaning that the Prime Minister can’t simply decide on her own whether the deal is good enough.
19th March 2018 – Key Points Agreed On
In March of 2018 there was finally a breakthrough in negotiations as Britain and the EU were able to agree one some of the key issues. That included the status of European Union citizens living in the UK.
20th October – Anti-Brexit March
Around 700,000 people take to the streets of London to protest against Brexit and asking for a second referendum on the matter.
The largest such protest since 2003 when hundreds of thousands of people marched in opposition to the war in Iraq.
Despite its size the march did nothing to sway political opinion with the Prime Minister or within her cabinet. The message staying as we must honour the peoples vote to leave the European Union.
13th November 2018 – Publication Of The Withdrawal Agreement
In November of 2018 the government released its Withdrawal Agreement, in which the nature of the UK’s exit from the EU was outlined.
It was referred to as the ‘worst of both worlds’ by some MPs, angered at the things that May’s government had agreed to.
15th November 2018 – Mass Resignations
In the wake of the announcement of the Withdrawal Agreement, a number of Tory MPs chose to resign in protest at the government’s handling of the negotiations.
Arguably the most significant MP to resign was Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary who has been partially responsible for the negotiations.
25th November 2018 – EU Leaders Endorse Withdrawal Agreement
10 days after its publication, leaders of the countries within the EU confirm that they will officially endorse the agreement proposed by the UK. The deal, however, needs to be ratified by the British government.
10th December 2018 – May Pulls Vote On Withdrawal Agreement
In order for the Withdrawal Agreement to become law, it needed to be ratified by parliament. It was clear from the objections of countless politicians that it wasn’t going to succeed, so the Prime Minister decided to pull the vote in order to try to gain some reassurances from EU leaders.
12th December 2018 – May Survives Vote Of No Confidence
In order to trigger a Vote of No Confidence in a Prime Minister of the Conservative Party, critics of the PM must be able to get 48 demands for their removal.
This threshold was reached on the 12th of December, triggering a vote from members of the Conservative Party who voted 200-117 in favour of her remaining in power.
17th December 2018 – Date For Vote On Withdrawal Agreement Confirmed
Having withdrawn the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in mid-December for fear of it being beaten, Theresa May confirmed that the vote would take place on the 15th of January 2019.
She then spent time trying to convince members of her own party that they should vote in favour of it.
January 15th 2019 – Parliament Rejects The Withdrawal Agreement
The government suffered one of its biggest losses ever on the 15th of January 2019 when MPs voted 432 to 202 against the Withdrawal Agreement.
Immediately after the result was confirmed, Jeremy Corbyn tabled a Motion of No Confidence in Theresa May as Prime Minister. Lose the vote and it would trigger an election if no alternative government could be formed.
January 16th 2019 – May Wins Vote Of No Confidence
Jeremy Corbyn will have been forgiven for thinking that the fact that 117 Conservative MPs voted against Theresa May in the Vote of No Confidence in her leadership from within her own party, combined with her Brexit plan suffering the largest defeat of any modern government, might mean that she’d struggle to survive one from the House of Commons as a whole. He was wrong.
May’s government survived, winning by 19 votes thanks to a tally of 325 to 306. In the wake of the vote a representative of the Democratic Unionist Party, with whom the Conservatives made an alliance in order to form a government after the snap general election in 2017, made the point that the Tories would have lost the vote without their support.
March 13th 2019 – May’s Deal Voted Down For Second Time
Theresa May went back to the EU to secure additional assurances on the backstop agreement in the hope this would persuade the DUP and factions of the Tory party to vote for her deal.
Many felt there was no substantial change to the deal from a legal perspective. The deal was voted down for a second time, not quite as heavily, losing this time by 149 votes, but still a damning rejection of the current deal.
March 29th 2019 – May’s Deal Voted Down For Third Time
The EU had agreed to give the UK potentially until the 22nd May to leave the EU, this was conducive on May getting here deal passed at the third time of asking. This date had been selected as it is the day before voting begins for EU parliamentary elections begin, which of course the UK government does not want to be part of.
The deal was yet again not agreed at the third time of asking. A cross-party group has now been set up to reach a compromise and offer the EU a withdrawal agreement that parliament will bot on. The EU has extended the leave deadline now to the 31st October meaning the country has now taken part in EU Parliament elections.
May 24th 2019 – Theresa May’s Resigns
Theresa May resigns and leaves on the 7th June, a new Tory party leadership election takes place for the likely next Prime Minister. What will happen now with Brexit is more unknown than ever.
July 24th 2019 – Boris Johnson Becomes PM
Boris Johnson was elected leader of the Conservative party, and unelected prime minister in the process, by Tory part members, taking his position on 24th July.
He won the party leadership contest by promising Britain will leave the EU on its new deadline of the 31st of August, with or without a deal.
Despite the new threat of a no-deal Brexit there was little interest from the EU to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement, with the back-stop being the single biggest issue. Chances of a no deal exit become odds on for the first time.
August 28th 2019 – Johnson Suspends Parliament
In an unprecedented move in modern times the prime minister asks the Queen to suspend parliament in September, just days after MPs return from the summer recess.
Parliament is suspended until 14th October when a new Queen’s speech will be made.
September 9th 2019 – Benn Act Passed
Parliament, however, managed to rush through the Benn Act before the suspension started that now requires the PM to request an EU extension if a no-deal is immanent on the 31/10/2019.
In the process the conservatives removed the whip from 21 members who voted against the bill, leaving Johnson with a minority government and a general election now likely.
September 24th 2019 – Supreme Court Rules Suspension Unlawful
In a momentous and unprecedented decision the Supreme Court held up the decision in the Scottish courts that Boris Johnson prorogation of parliament was unlawful was unlawful. Parliament was reconvened the day after with some of the most raucous scenes, language and atmosphere ever seen in the house.
Johnson immediately called for a general election given he has at this stage a minority government and the Benn Act to comply with. Opposition parties however refuse to sanction an election (which now needs to be passed by two thirds of the house since the fixed parliament act) until an extension is in place. It is now also possible that the opposition will band together and issue a vote of confidence in Johnson, which, if successful would lead to a temporary coalition government until an extension is granted, after which point a general election would be called.
Despite all that has happened at this stage Brexit and its outcome at seem as unpredictable as ever before in the previous three years.
October 2nd 2019 – New Deal Proposed To The EU
The government publishes a new proposal to be sent to the EU that replaces the backstop. The new idea is a two border solution that would keep Northern Ireland in the single market for goods by creating a border in the north sea with mainland Britain. They would, however, still leave the customs union requiring a customs border with Ireland either way.
This is the last throw of the dice for the government who; if the EU do not accept the proposal, will either then be replaced in a vote of confidence, resulting in an opposition coalition, or be forced to comply with the Benn Act.
October 28th 2019 – Deal Accepted But Only With EU Extension
The PM did manage to get his deal passed by parliament, a momentous moment considering Theresa May failed in her three attempts to pass a deal. This came with a big caveat though as Parliament while voting for the deal rejected the timetable, forcing Boris Johnson to request an extension from the EU. Petulantly however, the PM sent two letters to the EU, the extension letter required by the Benn Act, which he left unsigned, and a second signed letter asking the EU not to issue an Extension.
The EU ignored Johnson’s second letter and agreed an extension of the Brexit deadline to the 31st January 2019. The question now is will the PM try to get his deal through all stages of parliament, which is a risk as it could be changed a lot as he no longer has a majority, or will he push for a 2019 general election?
October 29th 2019 – General Election Called For 12/12/19
Following the EU’s 3 month extension Labour agreed to back a general election as ‘no deal has been taken off the table’. This now means the current Brexit deal will be on hold and will be revisited depending on who wins the election held on the 12th December.
December 13th 2019 – Conservative Win Majority Of 80
The Tory’s won a comfortable majority of 80 in the snap election meaning the withdrawal agreement is now likely to pass with Britain set to leave by the end of January 2020. This is according to Boris Johnson, but given how many delays we’ve had up to this point no one is holding their breath on that.
January 31st 2020 – Britain Leaves The EU
Once Johnson got in with a large majority legislation to pass the withdrawal bill and timetable passed quickly through the commons.
Britain officially withdrew from the EU at the end of January and entered a transition period that will last until at least the end of 2020.
During this time the UK will try to negotiate a trade deal with the EU along with agreements on movement, border controls and laws.
February – December 2020: Free Trade Deal
Negotiations around a trade agreement began in earnest but were quickly over shadowed by the world wide corona virus pandemic that gripped all nations.
While this did delay some negotiations in reality this made little difference with both sides far apart on many issues, in particular: fishing rights, implementation and regulation of a ‘level playing field’ for business, workers rights and the environment and a system to resolve disputes.
With deadlines constantly passed talks ran right up to Christmas 2020 before………..
Christmas Eve 2020: Trade Deal Agreed
On the very last deadline, that had passed about 17 previous deadlines, an agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU was agreed. With a week to go until the transition period ends there was a rush to pass the legislation in Britain and around Europe.
31st December 2020, 11pm: Transition Period Ends = Brexit
The Brexit trade agreement was passed by the UK parliament, with many stating it was a ‘thin deal’ but better than no deal at all. Britain officially ended its old trading relationship with the EU at 11pm on New Year’s Eve (midnight Brussels time) exiting the single market and the customers union, but retaining largely tariff free access to the EU market.
Part of this arrangement left Northern Ireland with a special status by where goods are checked before entering the devolved nation to create a seamless border with Ireland.
Is this the end of Britain’s tumultuous relationship with the EU? Not by a long shot, already groups are emerging campaigning for Britain’s re-entry, which of course you can bet on if your like.