Brexit: Odds of A Second Referendum Increase with EU Court Decision

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The odds of the United Kingdom conducting a second referendum vote to leave the EU have now increased following a decision by the European Court (ECJ) of Justice to allow the revocation of Article 50.

The ECJ is the highest court in the EU and the only court that can give a concrete and unwavering decision regarding Article 50. During the judgment, it was concluded that so long as the decision to revoke Article 50 is ‘unequivocal and unconditional’ then the option will be presented to the citizens of the UK. In a surprise turn of events, the decision overrides arguments from the Council of Ministers and the European Commission that consent from all member states should be mandatory before revocation of withdrawal can be allowed.

The case was put forward by the Scottish Court of Session which argued that Article 50 pursues two objectives – not only that a member state has the sovereign right to withdraw but that withdrawal take place in an orderly fashion. A lawyer in the case, John Halford, stated that “the government has totally failed in its attempt to prevent parliamentarians from hearing the full range of their options at this decisive moment for our country.”

Bleak Outlook for May’s Withdrawal Deal

Following the decision, a delay has now been imposed upon the House of Commons vote regarding UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal to leave the EU. It is now uncertain when the vote will take place and as a result, odds of the deal being accepted have also reduced. With a large contingent of Conservative party MPs and the ten DUP coalition party MPs unhappy with the current deal, the likelihood of a ‘Yes’ has dropped considerably.  Ladbrokes have odds at only 6/1 that the deal will be accepted, and 1/12 that it will be rejected.

In the event of a rejection, the chances of a second EU referendum vote will undoubtedly increase even further. As we reported last week, the odds of a second EU referendum vote occurring were nearing 50 percent. With news of the ECJ decision to allow the revocation of Article 50, odds have now increased to an average of almost 63 percent at most bookies, according to data from Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred all have odds of 5/4 that a second EU referendum vote will happen.

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