Betting odds move sharply towards Britain staying in EU after Obama warning

**Betting odds move sharply towards Britain staying in EU after Obama warning

Bookmakers’ odds have shifted sharply towards Britain voting to remain in the European Union in a referendum in June, a move in sentiment also reflected by the pound rising on Monday to a near six-week high against the euro.

Both moves followed a direct intervention by U.S. President Barack Obama in favour of Britain staying in, but those advocating leaving sought to undermine his arguments and warned the “In” camp not to celebrate too early.

Obama said Britain would find itself “in the back of the queue” for a trade deal with the United States if it voted to quit the EU on June 23, and said it would be safer, more prosperous and more influential if it stayed in.

Following his intervention, which was more forceful than had been expected, the implied probability of a vote to remain in the 28-nation bloc rose to 74 percent, a jump of more than 10 percentage points compared with a week ago, according to odds from bookmaker Betfair**.

**"‘Remain’ was already a strong favourite before Barack Obama’s visit, but his comments sparked another wave of trading over the weekend with ‘Remain’ now backed into 1/3," said James Midmer, a spokesman for Betfair.

“The market could eclipse Betfair’s record for traded volume for a single political market; 3.5 million pounds has been matched in the last week alone,” he said.

The probability of a “Remain”, or “In”, vote implied by the odds was at its highest level since September 2015, Betfair data showed.**

The pound traded near a six-week high against the euro, with traders saying Obama’s intervention was helping sentiment as it underlined the weight of argument from global and financial leaders in favour of the “Remain” camp.


The EU issue has split the ruling Conservative Party, with Prime Minister David Cameron leading the campaign to stay in while six of his cabinet ministers and a large proportion of his party’s MPs are openly campaigning for Brexit.

The “Leave” campaign fought back on Monday, with figurehead Boris Johnson, the outgoing Conservative mayor of London seen as a potential successor to Cameron, saying Obama had “bullied” British voters and that his warning on trade was “ridiculous”.

In an opinion column in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Johnson accused the “Remain” camp of “crowing too soon”.

Another prominent “Leave” campaigner, Justice Secretary Michael Gove, wrote in the Times newspaper that the next wave of EU expansion, which could include Turkey and Albania, would create a migration “free-for-all”.

But Home Secretary Theresa May, who is in the “Remain” camp, said “nobody should think leaving the EU is a silver bullet that is suddenly going to solve all our immigration problems”.

She argued in a speech that controlling immigration and preventing criminals and terrorists from moving freely around the bloc were challenges best tackled by constant cooperation with EU partners and continual refining of the rules.

“Leaving the EU would not mean we could just close ourselves off to the world … Most of the international terrorism casework that crosses my desk involves countries beyond Europe’s borders,” May said.

So my judgement as home secretary is that remaining a member of the European Union means we will be more secure from crime and terrorism.”

From your post:

“Obama said Britain would find itself “in the back of the queue” for a trade deal with the United States if it voted to quit the EU on June 23, and said it would be safer, more prosperous and more influential if it stayed in.”

If I were a Brit I would find this infuriating. Why would Britain be “in back of the queue” with the U.S.? Behind whom? China? Vietnam? Russia?

But then, one remembers his sending the bust of Churchill back to Britain. I don’t know why Obama dislikes Britain, but it sure seems like he does.

Boris Johnson, the informal leader of the Brexiters (Leave campaign), referred to the “bust issue” which Obama addressed directly in his live press conference to the nation, with Prime Minister Cameron by his side:

**‘I love the guy’: Obama settles rumours about Winston Churchill bust **


Obama Explains Why He Removed Churchill Bust from Oval Office

“There’s only so many busts you can have before it starts looking a little cluttered”

President Barack Obama finally addressed an issue that has hung over the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the United Kingdom for almost eight years — the removal of a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.

Shortly after Obama took office he chose to remove from the White House a bronze bust of Britain’s wartime leader placed there by his predecessor George W. Bush. At the time, some in the British media treated it as a diplomatic snub and prima facie evidence of cooling relations with the U.S. The removal briefly resurfaced in the 2012 election after Mitt Romney’s ill-fated trip to Britain.

At a press conference during a visit to the U.K. on Friday, Obama confirmed that he had in fact removed the bust from the office to make way for one of Martin Luther King. “There’s only so many busts you can have before it starts looking a little cluttered in there,” he said.

But the President said the White House does still feature a separate bust of Churchill outside the Treaty Room on its second floor. “I see it every day, including on weekends when I’m going into that office to watch a basketball game,” he said. “The primary image I see is a bust of Winston Churchill. It’s there voluntarily because I can do anything on the second floor.”

And, with remarks that will surely warm the hearts of British diplomats in Washington, he added: “I love Winston Churchill. I love the guy.”

Needless to say, such a strongly worded and direct rebuke from the most powerful man in the world has left Boris deeply bruised in the public eye. Indeed, his hopes of becoming PM after Cameron look next to nothing now. His allusion to Obama’s “half-Kenyan” origins as a possible reason for his opposition to Brexit also caused great outrage in the press and condemnations from Boris’ fellow Bexiters.

The ‘back of the queue’ is in reference to TTIP - the USA is looking to secure a massive free trade agreement with the EU. Obviously, America isn’t going to privilege an independent UK over the 28 (or 27 as it would be) members of the EU in its trade policy: not when U.S. goods and private service trade with the EU totaled an estimated $1.06 trillion in 2013.

Obama said:

Mr Obama has previously said the UK would be at the “back of the queue” for trade deals with the US, if it left the EU.

When asked about the comments, he told the BBC: "The UK would not be able to negotiate something with the United States faster than the EU.

“We wouldn’t abandon our efforts to negotiate a trade deal with our largest trading partner, the European market.”

He also warned the UK would have “less influence in Europe and as a consequence, less influence globally”, if it left the EU.

As an African-American, that Obama would make a “back of the queue” threat (read: “back of the bus”) is outrageous beyond words. Has he no sense of irony at all? Or just his own ego?

Obama is getting in the queue of who dislikes the UK, do we care,do we imagine some special relationship,let me think - probably not. THe upside is we will be at the back of queue to put boots on the ground in the next inspired fiasco.

Following his “back of the queue” comment, which seems to have offended some people, I watched this BBC interview with Mr Obama being questioned on this subject.

Hopefully hearing more detail will clarify any misunderstandings.

If the free trade agreement with the EU is anything like our agreement with China, I think America would be better off without it. China freely ships its goods here, our goods are blocked from China.

Not much of a deal.

And if the U.S. sells $1.06 trillion worth into the EU despite European preferences among themselves, I see little reason to enter into any agreement with the EU.

Trading with Britain unilaterally would do what, cause the EU to impose more barriers against U.S. goods?

The difference is that China, despite what you might hear, is not a real “market economy”. The liberalisation of the economy only went so far, the state still has an inordinate command, prerogative to interrupt and intervene. As opposed to liberal capitalism, you have state capitalism - which is a contradiction in terms. It is an attempt to reap the benefits of the free market but keep the Communist Party in control. As we have seen with the slowing down of the Chines economy recently, this is hampering Chinese growth and openness to trade.

China does not actually partake of “free trade” - it dumps cheap exports, such as steel, on the market, which in return require tariffs from the other side to protect industries. That’s not real free trade - it’s Chinese “state capitalism”.

With the EU, you are faced with a 28 member union of Western, free-market democracies with some of the highest standards of living in the world. Most EU countries are economically liberal and open to trading. The single market, the free market, is the very epicentre of the EU system - a single market of 500 million consumers looking for quality goods and services, as well as providing the same in return.

Between market economies that share the same values and political systems, free trade has been proven to work. Just look at the U.S. and Canada or the EU itself.

China, as an autocratic statist regime, is a different beast. We need to protect ourselves from its anti-free trade, anti-market “dumping” rather than acquiescing with China and falsely calling this “free trade” when it is entirely one-sided.

TTIP in my opinion would benefit both the U.S. and EU. We are each others largest trading partners, since the EU is one single economy as opposed to the aggregate sum of its individual Member States. We share a common heritage, values, rule of law democracy and language - English has become the modern lingua franca of Europe.

The fact is, our relationship can be taken further. There are still significant barriers this trade on both sides of the Atlantic that dont need to be there.

My advice to Britain - take a close look at how Obama’s plans have worked out. Remember, he likes to tell you who you are. :whistle:

My point was that the U.S. experience with “trade agreements” has not been all that happy. Unless Hillary Clinton is elected, we’re likely to enter into fewer of them and will require genuine reciprocity if we do. If she is elected, we can probably count on more lopsided agreements like giving “favored nation” status to China with the only reciprocation being a hefty contribution to the president, as happened under Bill Clinton’s administration.

We are already required to buy our own uranium resources from Russia thanks to big speaking fees given to Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton’s approval of the sale of our resources to a Russian company.

I, for one, do not really believe Europe wants to trade with the U.S. on equal terms, and only does it when there’s no real choice. Even then, it’s likely to be problematic. The U.S. develops GMOs and Europe bans them on a pretense. U.S. (and Canadian) beef is greatly less expensive than what’s grown in Europe. And yet, Canadian beef got banned from the EU because of one cow that had BSE. American beef is banned on the grounds that growth hormones were used in raising it, when that’s actually quite rare. American poultry is banned in Europe because, during processing, the meat is washed with chlorine solution to kill harmful bacteria. American milk is banned. Even American pet food is banned unless it’s “human consumable”, which means almost all of it. Do Europeans really eat pet food? I doubt it.

There is a lot of that.

They come up with reasons to deny access to less expensive American products in order to protect their own. It would take very knowledgeable negotiators, principally business people, not politicians, to get anything like fair trade with the EU.

As you say, North America is its own “continental economy”. It would be nice of the U.S. was able to trade with Europe on a truly reciprocal basis. But I doubt that’s in the cards any time soon.

I guess Britain relies a lot on the US. It used to be the other way around.

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