European markets slipped into the red on Friday, weighed by negative headlines in the global auto sector and losses for oil majors. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2% to 348.27, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 down 0.3%, to 6,925.16. The Germany’s Dax 30 and France’s CAC 40 each lost around 0.6%.

U.S. stocks on Friday ended with slight losses, but capped a week that helped to propel the Dow and S&P 500 out of corrective phases as progress on trade talks with China and the U.S. overshadowed a partial government shutdown that had entered a 21st day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down less than 0.1% lover, at 23,995, the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.2% to close at 6.971.

It's more likely Brexit will not happen on 29 March, than no-deal — EIU

Britain is meant to leave the European Union (EU) on 29 March, 2019. However one of the world’s most reputable think tanks believes that Brexit will not happen on that date and that a ‘no-deal Brexit’ is the least likely scenario right now.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said that it predicts that UK prime minister Theresa May’s government will lose Tuesday’s ‘meaningful vote’ on the withdrawal agreement and political declaration negotiated in November and therefore be forced to ask for an extension on Article 50.

Article 50 was triggered on 29 March, 2017. It is the notification to the EU that Britain will be leaving the bloc. Once it was triggered, it started the clock on a two-year window for negotiation on a departure deal.

May will make a speech today (14 January) that will serve as a last-ditch attempt to persuade MPs to back her Brexit deal in tomorrow’s key Commons vote. She is set to have a devastating defeat in parliament. Political insiders, say that around 100 Conservative MPs and the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, are expected to join the opposition party Labour and others opposition parties in voting against the deal. May is set to say on Monday that trust in politics will suffer “catastrophic harm” if the referendum result is not respected.

The EIU believe that the EU will grant the UK and extension to Article 50, giving May her government time to push through a deal. A no-deal Brexit is the worst case scenario for all party. It would mean Britain crashing out of the bloc with no set plan on how to deal with rules and regulations around trade, tariffs, and immigration, for example.

The EIU said that the two most likely outcomes, following the downgrade of the likelihood that a no-deal Brexit would happen, is that there is either “an eventual approval of the Brexit deal, or a second referendum.”

Although May and her government have continually said they wouldn’t allow a second Brexit referendum, EIU’s Haralambous says that “the task of getting a version of May’s deal approved will become more difficult if the margin of defeat in the upcoming meaningful vote is particularly large and/or the EU refuses to provide concessions that make the terms of the deal more palatable to UK MPs.”