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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Welcome to March! The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU this month. And yet if anything, there's less clarity than ever about whether and when the U.K. might actually leave, and under what terms it might do so.

The state of play: British politics is more fractured than ever: 11 MPs have left the Tories and Labour to form The Independent Group, which is not so much a party as a cry for sanity. The opposition Labour party now wants a referendum, perhaps, and the governing Conservative party now is OK with a short delay, perhaps, but neither option seems to command a majority in Parliament.

  • There's no agreement even as to what question a People's Vote might ask, and there's similarly no clarity on what could realistically change between now and the end of the short delay period.

The bottom line: It's easy to pass votes against a no-deal Brexit on March 29, but it's impossible to enforce them unless there's also a vote for some alternative. In the absence of a positive vote for something else, No Deal remains the default outcome. Market analyst Helen Thomas of Blonde Money still thinks No Deal is the most likely outcome, with a probability of about 40%.

Go deeper ... The Brexit dilemma: British politics is broken

Go deeper

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.

FDA approves AstraZeneca COVID drug for people with immune problems

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for an AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug for people with compromised immune systems.

Why it matters: The drug, Evusheld, is the first antibody therapy authorized in the U.S. to prevent coronavirus symptoms before virus exposure.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.