Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The sun sets over London's Houses of Parliament. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

If you tried to put together a deal guaranteed to appeal to absolutely no one in the U.K., you could hardly do better than the 585-page draft agreement unveiled on Wednesday between Britain and the European Union.

Why it matters: Britons who voted to leave did so because they wanted to take back control from the EU. This agreement notably fails to do that. Europe retains effective control over UK trade rules. That control lasts at the very least through the end of the transitional period in December 2020, and realistically far beyond that. For Britain to truly extricate itself from the EU, it first needs to find a workable solution to the problem of the Irish border, and it's abundantly clear that no such solution exists.

Britons who voted to remain, including the 700,000 people who marched in London last month demanding a second vote, want their country to be a full member state of the EU, with voting rights and influence over European affairs. All that disappears, under this agreement, on March 29, 2019.

The big picture: Prime Minister Theresa May is entirely correct when she says that Britain faces three choices: This deal, no deal, or no Brexit at all. The problem is that none of those choices are palatable to the U.K. Parliament, or even to her own Conservative Party.

Economically speaking, the best possible outcome is no Brexit. If the U.K. somehow finds a way to remain in the EU, finance and industry would breathe a huge sigh of relief, the pound would soar in value, and even the other 27 EU member states would cheer.

  • Conversely, a no-deal Brexit is unambiguously the worst possible outcome, but the clock is ticking. Absent a second referendum, Britain is going to exit the EU in 131 days.
  • May's attempt to find a middle way is worse politically than it is economically, but it's still bad economically. It effectively clears up none of the current uncertainty over Britain's status vis-a-vis the EU, and it would hurt a lot of businesses in the service sector, generally, and financial services, in particular.

The bottom line: Crisis is the new normal. Expect heightened political demagoguery, irrational levels of brinkmanship, and extreme financial-market volatility for substantially all of those 131 days. Nobody knows what the final outcome is going to be, but what's certain is that the road there from here is going to be extremely rocky.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."