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A pro-Brexit demonstrator. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May lost yesterday's Brexit vote by an astonishing margin, cobbling together only 202 votes for her Brexit deal.

The big picture: Worse, there were 432 votes against it, including 118 of the 317 MPs representing her own Conservative party. That makes this vote the biggest and most consequential government defeat since at least the 1840s.

  • May seems secure in her premiership. Her Northern Irish coalition partners have said that they will support her in today's confidence vote, and May has given no indication that this stinging defeat will force her resignation. There might be more no-confidence votes, however, in coming weeks.
  • With May's attempt at Brexit having failed, it is now up to Parliament to come up with an alternative. The chamber's view is clear on one point: There is an overwhelming consensus on both sides of the aisle that a no-deal Brexit cannot be allowed to happen.

The only choice left would seem to be no Brexit. Britain can change its mind and decide to stay in the EU after all, or it can ask the EU to agree to a delay, pending a second referendum. That second referendum would probably result in a vote to remain, especially given that about 1.5 million young voters have become eligible to vote since the 2016 referendum, and a huge majority of young Britons want to be part of Europe.

Be smart: Don't believe anybody who tells you that they know how this is all going to play out. Britain is caught up in political chaos, and just about any option is still possible, including a hard Brexit, another general election, or a change in Conservative party leadership. That said, the possibility that Brexit might not happen at all is looking increasingly likely.

Go deeper: Second Brexit referendum looks more likely than ever

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
24 mins ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.