Jan 16, 2019

Brexit's future looks murkier than ever

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

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U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus public health order

Photo: Jinitzail Hernández/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The U.S. has expelled more than 6,000 migrants using new powers enabling the federal government to almost immediately turn back border-crossers under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emergency public health order that went into effect March 21, according to new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

The big picture: The order has drastically lowered the number of immigrants in CBP custody to fewer than 100, the agency's acting commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters on Thursday. The number of people coming into the U.S. overall has plummeted due to coronavirus-related travel bans in place at both the northern and southern borders.

U.S. coronavirus updates: 16 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About 16 million Americans have filed for jobless benefits over the past three weeks due to the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Both the federal government and individual states are surveying different models of when it will be safe enough to reopen some parts of the economy and allow Americans to return to work. President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 17 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 1,506,936 — Total deaths: 90,057 — Total recoveries: 340,112Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 432,596 — Total deaths: 14,831 — Total recoveries: 24,235Map.
  3. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week.
  4. Federal government latest: President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy.
  5. Public health latest: Dr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  6. States latest: New York's coronavirus death toll hits record high for third straight day.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Your hydroxychloroquine questions answered.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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