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

1 hour ago - Sports

13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive for coronavirus

Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Seven players and six staff members from the St. Louis Cardinals have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past week, prompting the MLB to postpone the team's upcoming four-game series against the Detroit Tigers.

Why it matters: Seven consecutive Cardinals games have now been canceled after St. Louis became the second team to report a significant coronavirus outbreak, just two weeks into the season.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 18,149,860 — Total deaths: 690,624 — Total recoveries — 10,753,318Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 4,690,404 — Total deaths: 155,124 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 56,812,162Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Business: Virtual school is another setback for retail — The pandemic hasn't hampered health care.
  5. Public health: Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
2 hours ago - Podcasts

White House adviser Peter Navarro talks TikTok

President Trump has relaxed his threat to immediately ban the popular social media app TikTok, giving Microsoft room to negotiate an acquisition from Chinese tech giant ByteDance.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the situation with Peter Navarro, the White House's top trade adviser and a noted China hawk, who suggests Microsoft should be forced to make unrelated concessions related to its China operations.