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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

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.