A notable analyst who correctly predicted the outcome of the 2017 General Election has said there is still a 90 per cent chance that no deal will never occur.
Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Samuel Tombs – who correctly predicted that Theresa May would lose seats in the 2017 election when most people thought she would gain them – has given the likelihood of Britain leaving the EU without a deal just a 10 per cent probability, in spite of Boris Johnson’s tough stance on the matter.
Johnson has a working majority in the House of Commons of around three votes, but the Conservatives face upcoming by-elections in Dover, Brecon & Radnorshire, and Sheffield Hallam, which they could lose.
And with big-name Conservatives like former chancellor Philip Hammond threatening to vote against the government rather than support no deal, it would potentially wipe out Johnson’s ability to control the House of Commons.
No majority in sight
With that scenario in mind, Tombs believes it will be difficult to get a no-deal exit through the House.
In a note to clients seen by Business Insider, he said: “Earlier this month, 17 Conservatives rebelled while 19 deliberately abstained in order to stop the new PM from proroguing parliament in October.
“Some of them, such as Ken Clarke and Guto Bebb, do not intend to stand as MPs at the next election and so have nothing to lose by obstructing Mr. Johnson.
“Others, such as Phillip Hammond and Dominic Grieve, know they have no chance of returning to government with Mr. Johnson at the helm.
“And a final group, including Justine Greening and Paul Masterton— who represent Remain-leaning Putney and East Renfrewshire, respectively—have a better chance of holding onto their seats by opposing a no-deal Brexit than by enabling it.”
If a majority in the Commons threatens to topple the government rather than contemplate “no deal,” it would force Johnson into a compromise, either proposing his own deal or by extending the Article 50 period, potentially for a General Election.
“In our view, the chances of a no-deal Brexit on October 31 have not surged just because Boris Johnson has become Prime Minister and is gesticulating wildly at the Despatch Box.
“We still think a no-deal departure in October is [only] a 10 per cent risk,” Tombs said.