Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt believes there is “an end in sight” for Parliament to finally agree on Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
UK ministers are currently trying to secure concessions over the Irish backstop detailed in the withdrawal agreement, which MPs rejected by a historic margin in January.
Speaking to Politico’s EU Confidential podcast, Hunt said it was in “everyone’s interest to get back to stability” and that he hopes the negotiations would yield a revised deal “in the next few days”.
The Remain-voting minister said his long-term test for a successful Brexit would be if in ten years’ time “people who voted against Brexit, people in that 48%, are able to say, ‘you know what, it hasn’t been as bad as I feared and the UK is flourishing’”.
However, others are less optimistic that the prime minister can secure a compromise on the backstop and please her own MPs.
Even a legally binding concession guaranteeing the backstop’s temporary nature is unlikely to placate hard-line Brexiteers, such as those in the European Research Group (ERG), says The Daily Telegraph.
“They want the backstop to be scrapped altogether, while all Mrs May can do is sandpaper the rough edges,” says the newspaper. The ERG would prefer a no-deal exit from the bloc and, with just 38 days to go until Brexit Day, “it appears that time is on their side”, it adds.
As ever, the course of Brexit is difficult to predict, with the UK in wholly unknown territory.
All the same, that hasn’t stopped the bookmakers from taking bets on what might happen next. Here are some of the odds on offer.
When will the UK leave the EU?
The Article 50 deadline is more likely to be extended than not, according to Paddy Power, which is offering odds of 2/7 on an extension and 9/4 on the 29 March 2019 deadline staying in place. SkyBet also has odds of 11/8 on the UK leaving the EU between April and June, shorter than the 9/4 odds of leaving before the end of next month.
Will there be a second referendum?
Ladbrokes suggests not, with 1/5 on no second referendum this year, 7/2 on a 2019 referendum, and 5/1 on a 2019 referendum with voters opting to remain.
What about a no-deal Brexit?
Both Ladbrokes and Coral have odds of 7/4 on the UK leaving the EU without a deal by the end of March.
Will Theresa May stay in office?
Betfair gives the PM a 1/2 chance of remaining in power when the UK leaves the bloc.
What else might happen after Brexit?
If you want to take a punt on some wackier predictions, Paddy Power is offering odds of 50/1 on no English clubs playing in the 2019/20 Champions League; 2/1 on KFC closing its UK outlets due to a chicken shortage in 2019; and 500/1 on the Queen being evacuated to North Korea.