When will Article 50 be triggered? Probably not this year, according to the bookies

Jake Cordell
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It's up to the UK when it triggers Article 50
It's up to the UK when it triggers Article 50 (Source: Getty)

Although the electorate have signalled their intent to leave the European Union, one big question remains in Westminster, the City, across Europe and even further afield: When will the UK actually break away?

This comes down to the crucial matter of Article 50 - the clause which sets the clock ticking on a two-year timetable for departure and can only be triggered by the UK government.

David Cameron said the timing of that declaration will be for his successor, who will not be in place until 9 September. After some mixed signals over the weekend, European leaders also seemed to suggest they were happen to wait a little longer. They have been clear however, they would prefer it was sooner, not later.

Conservative leadership candidates Michael Gove and Theresa May have both signalled they do not believe there should be any rush to break ties until the UK has got its negotiating strategy in place.

Brexit Britain: What you need to know

There has also been talk of a second referendum or even a general election before the formal notification to leave the EU is issued.

Now, fresh from licking their Brexit wounds, the bookies are getting back to business and have put their necks on the line again - putting the chances of Article 50 being called this year at less than 50-50. SkyBet, who have set up a "when will Article 50 be triggered" betting market, also believe there is a one in five chance of it not happening until 2018 - if at all.

When will Article 50 be triggered?

When? Odds Implied probability Implied cumulative probability
Today 200/1 0.5 per cent 0.5 per cent
Before the end of September 2016 9/4 26.9 per cent 27.4 per cent
October - December 2016 5/2 21.1 per cent 48.5 per cent
January - March 2017 9/2 13.5 per cent 62 per cent
April - June 2017 9/2 13.5 per cent 75.5 per cent
June - September 2017 20/1 3.5 per cent 79 per cent
October - December 2017 33/1 2.2 per cent 81.2 per cent
In 2018, later, or not at all 3/1 18.8 per cent 100 per cent

Odds and probability taken from Sky Bet's "When will Article 50 be triggered" market. Implied cumulative probability shows the chances that Article 50 will have been triggered by the end of that date. The calculations are normalised to account for the fact that Sky Bet's odds sum to 133 per cent if taken at true value. Hence odds of 3/1 do not equate to a 25 per cent chance.

Of course, given that political betters got it wrong in the EU referendum, it may be wise to take such predictions with more than a pinch of salt.

For that very reason, Theresa May who is the bookies' favourite to succeed David Cameron in the Conservative leadership race, may be looking over her shoulder.

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