Italy remains the country most likely to follow the UK out of the EU amid rising optimism and Italexit party coverage in recent months.
As Gambling.com reported in October, the latest political betting odds make Italy the overwhelming favorite to be the next to trigger Article 50 and begin the process of exiting the trade bloc.
While the odds suggest the country is not about to take the leap like the UK did in 2016, it is a sure indication of the rise of Italian nationalism that the country remains in the lead. of the betting market.
There are rumblings of discontent across the country over how the coronavirus pandemic has been handled among EU members, with Italy in particular suffering one of the world’s worst death rates from the disease. during the first wave.
A number of European countries have experienced a spike in populist nationalism in recent years, with France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Austria all running a UKIP-style political party.
In an interview with the Daily Express in November, Italexit party spokesman Sergio Montanaro said: “It is about political will. The Italian people, like the British, want to get out of this cage. Our plan is simple. Parliamentarians who want to leave the European Union.
The plan for Eurosceptics is to trigger the withdrawal process within two years.
And yet, while the latest political betting markets indicate Italy is ahead of its neighbors on leaving the EU, the likelihood of that happening remains to be seen.
Unibet recently released fresh markets focused on Italy, with the country 4/1 invoke Article 50 by January 1, 2022. They are also 4/1 officially ask to leave the euro on that date.
What is the probability?
Leaving the EU would require more than one political party to adopt changes. The Italexit party is targeting the seats of the European Parliament to attract the attention of the general public – a strategy deployed by UKIP with great effect. But they would probably need the support of the right to pass a referendum.
However, recent polls suggest that support for Lega Nord and the right-wing 5-star is waning, while there is a growing penchant for left-wing politics, particularly the pro-European Partito Democratico.
Meanwhile, the next election for the European Parliament will not take place until 2024. This arguably leaves enough time for pro-European and centrist political parties to quell the flames of nationalism.
Eyes are arguably also on Brexit and the way the UK is pulling out of the EU. Negotiations have dragged on for years and, as the UK officially left the trade bloc in January 2020, a Brexit trade deal has proven extremely difficult to negotiate.
It’s no surprise, then, that Italian politicians – as well as their counterparts across the continent – are keeping a close watch on the UK.