Stories by Shane Savitsky

The U.K. government's internal battle over a Brexit "backstop"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The last 24 hours have seen the British government waging an internal war over Brexit — and, once again, it's forced Prime Minister Theresa May to face off with the pro-Brexit wing of her Conservative Party, led by Brexit Secretary David Davis.

What's at issue: The latest battle has been over the legal wording of a "backstop" trade deal after the U.K. leaves the EU. Conservatives pushing for a hard Brexit want that backstop time-limited, fearing that May's preferred option of an indefinite solution a supposed requirement for the EU — could leave the U.K. permanently attached to Europe.

The showdown over a possible U.S.–China deal to save ZTE

Mnuchin from the side
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in Beijing. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and China are closing in on a deal to save Chinese phone maker ZTE, which was forced to halt operations after a U.S. sanctions onslaught, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Yes, but: A bipartisan group of senators from the Senate Banking Committee today voted overwhelmingly for an amendment that would require the Trump administration to certify that ZTE had abided by U.S. demands before sanctions could be eased, per The Hill. That idea would still have a long road through Congress, but today's vote shows its popularity on both sides of the aisle.

Secret recording reveals NFL owners terrified of Trump

NFL players kneeling
Players from the Kansas City Chiefs taking a knee. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

NFL players, owners, and executives held a confidential meeting at league headquarters last October to address President Trump's attacks against the league in the wake of player protests — instigated by quarterback Colin Kaepernick — against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, per The New York Times.

Why it matters: A recording of the meeting, obtained by the Times, shows that owners were deeply worried about the impact that the protests might have on the economic future of the league, pressuring players to put an end to the situation as quickly as possible.