Oct 19, 2019

U.K. Parliament thwarts Boris Johnson's Brexit plan

Boris Johnson heads to Parliament. Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

The U.K. Parliament on Saturday approved an amendment intended as a safety valve against a damaging "no deal" Brexit, taking the wind out of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's sails and making yet another Brexit delay likely.

Why it matters: Johnson reached a deal with the European Union last week and brought it up for a vote on a highly unusual Saturday session. The whip count looked close, but after the so-called Letwin Amendment passed, Johnson said there was little point in proceeding with the vote on his deal. He also vowed not to negotiate an extension beyond the Oct. 31 deadline with the EU — though he is bound by law to seek one.

  • If and when a Brexit deal is passed, accompanying legislation will also have to win Parliament's approval to ensure an orderly exit from the EU. The Letwin Amendment is intended to buy more time for that process without the risk of a "no deal" exit on Halloween.
  • But a law previously passed by Parliament mandated Johnson to seek an extension from the EU if he didn't have a deal approved by Saturday. The Letwin Amendment made that impossible because it rendered the vote on Johnson's deal non-binding.
  • Johnson said he would not be negotiating an extension from the EU. If he doesn't, a court battle is likely. Johnson, for his part, claims "no deal" is still in play at the end of the month.

What to watch: It's long been assumed that the EU will agree to another deadline extension, though French President Emmanuel Macron and others on the continent have signaled that they're running out of patience and want to see Johnson's deal approved.

Go deeper

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,375,648 — Total deaths: 343,721 — Total recoveries — 2,149,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,639,872 — Total deaths: 97,599 — Total recoveries: 361,239 — Total tested: 13,784,786Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.