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Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday that she would offer lawmakers "a new Brexit deal" that — if passed — would also include a vote in Parliament on whether to hold a second referendum.

Why it matters: Holding a second referendum has long been a red line for May, who has staked her entire premiership on delivering the results of the 2016 Brexit vote. Now, in a last-ditch effort to salvage Brexit before stepping down as prime minister, May is offering lawmakers a potential chance to put it to the people in exchange for passing her deal.

Details:

  • May's new bill will put the government under a legal obligation to prepare alternative arrangements for the Irish border by December 2020 to prevent the much-maligned backstop from coming into effect.
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly will have to give consent for any deviation away from the mainland, ensuring that the U.K.'s single market remains aligned.
  • The bill will give Parliament control over future trade negotiations with the EU, satisfying a key demand from the opposition Labour Party.
  • Parliament will also get to vote on whether to adopt a temporary customs union with the EU.

How it's playing: Members of the European Research Group — the hardline Brexiteer faction of the Conservative Party that has helped block May's deal 3 times — aren't likely to back the deal. The DUP, the Northern Ireland unionist party that props up May's government, also doesn't appear to be convinced.

  • Even the People's Vote, which has long advocated for a second referendum on a final Brexit deal, said in a statement: "Today she tried to spice up the same old deal with a series of supposedly new concessions, but then admitted she had no way of guaranteeing that she could deliver any of them."

What to watch: May will likely be forced to resign if she can't get this deal through.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Brexit

Go deeper

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani on Monday seeking $1.3 billion in damages for his "demonstrably false” allegations about the company's voting machines.

Why it matters: Giuliani led former President Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election and spread the baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion's voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Joe Biden.