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Theresa May. Photo: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May told Conservative Party MPs on Wednesday that she is "prepared to leave this job earlier than [she] intended ... to deliver on the decision of the British people and leave the EU with a smooth and orderly exit," per The Times' Sam Coates.

Why it matters: This is May's gambit to finally get her Brexit deal, which has already faced two historic defeats in the House of Commons, over the line. But it has no set time as she reportedly told her MPs she would step down once the U.K. formally achieves Brexit. The EU has granted the U.K. a short extension from March 29 until April 12 to exit the bloc, which could be extended until May 22 if May's deal passes. However, the Commons voted this week to take control of the Brexit process from the government and will vote later Wednesday to gauge support for a range of alternative next steps.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Brexit

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.