The general consensus is that, provided there is an agreement, the government will go back, perhaps arguing that the agreement means that the “backstop” provided by the bill is no longer necessary. But there is no guarantee that this will happen and it is quite clear that the EU will not be inclined to sign a deal if the bill is not diluted. “As talks multiply, the chances of a no-deal Brexit are shorter than ever, with little chance of extending the transition period.” The bookmaker maintains a 1/2 deal, but warns that the odds are drifting, since Prime Minister Johnson has formally declared that his government “will not give in” to the EU`s demands on fisheries, state aid and safeguarding the northern Ireland protocol. So is it time to reassess the chances of reaching an agreement before the end of the year? We still believe that the chances of a free trade agreement are firm, but there are still many ways to derail things. Here are some of the reasons for optimism and pessimism. Then there is the delicate subject of the law on the internal market. The House of Lords voted overwhelmingly to remove controversial clauses from the law, which effectively give the government the power to repeal parts of the Withdrawal Agreement. For now, the government has indicated that it will fight to reinstate these clauses when the bill returns to the House of Commons, and it has also hinted beforehand that it will introduce another law (the Finance Act) that may contain other inflammatory elements. The prime minister also said that if there was no deal, the UK would retain a “very significant” share of the £39 billion set by Theresa May in her withdrawal agreement to pay the EU. But the two sides remain distant from one another on several key issues and the process is likely to derail thanks to a fierce debate over UK plans to enact laws that give it the right to exonerated aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Smarkets` betting exchange says the chances of a trade deal between Britain and the EU have shrunk by 18% by the end of the year, to nearly 50-50. The extension of market quotas is in line with the forecasts of other observers. Jordan Rochester, a money strategist at Nomura, said this week that the probability of a no-deal Brexit had risen to 40%. M. Johnson wants to remove the Irish backstop from the deal, but the EU has systematically ruled him out and said it will not renegotiate the deal. The chances of making a deal have now fallen to 49 percent, Smarkets said, from 67 percent a month ago. Time is running out for negotiations between Britain and the EU, although we still believe there is a chance of reaching an agreement. But nothing is guaranteed and, as we learned during the Brexit process, there is still room for unexpected surprises Mrs May has struck a withdrawal agreement with the EU – the so-called `divorce deal` – but British MPs have rejected the deal three times.

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