The chances of Article 50 never being triggered are higher than ever, after Theresa May was announced as the next Prime Minister, bookmakers say.
Sky Bet has placed odds of just 6/4 on Article 50 — the two-year notice period the UK must give to leave the EU — being triggered in “2018 or later or not at all.”
May was confirmed as the next Conservative leader on Monday after her only rival Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the race. David Cameron announced just a few hours later that he would resign by Wednesday evening, meaning May will become Prime Minister much sooner than many expected.
Following through on the result of the EU referendum had been a big part of May’s leadership bid — she stressed in a speech on Monday that “Brexit means Brexit,” and reassured Leave voters that Britain will leave the EU under her premiership.
But it seems bookmakers are not entirely convinced. May campaigned for the Remain side in the build-up to the June 23 EU referendum and many hardline Brexiteers — including the UK Independence Party (UKIP) — supported Leadsom’s bid because she was in favour of Brexit before the vote.
But May always had the stronger backing of the Conservative Party, easily winning two rounds of voting among Tory MPs, and many pro-Brexit MPs pledged their support for May before Leadsom backed out.
Here are the current Sky bet odds on when — and if — Article 50 will be triggered:
- 2018 or later or not at all — 6/4
- October 1 to December 31 2016 — 3/1
- January 1 to March 21 2017 — 4/1
- April 1 to June 30 2017 — 9/2
- July 1 to September 30 2016 — 9/2
- July 1 to September 30 2017 — 9/1
- October 1 to December 31 2017 — 12/1
Elsewhere in the betting markets, William Hill has already opened the betting market on the person most likely to succeed Theresa May, with Boris Johnson the current favourite at 10/1 followed by Michael Gove at 12/1. They are likely to have a long wait, though, as William Hill says May will probably still be Prime Minister by the end of 2020, with odds of 4/9.