Dec 10, 2018

Axios PM

1 big thing: Brexit and bust
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With 109 days until a final deadline, the United Kingdom's governing coalition seems unable to finish the Brexit process it launched all the way back in 2015.

Driving the news: Tomorrow’s “meaningful vote” was supposed to deliver our first bit of real clarity on what comes next for both Brexit and PM Theresa May.

  • But on the most consequential British issue in decades, she simply doesn’t have the votes. It’s not clear how she can get them — or if anyone else could, Axios world editor Dave Lawler emails.
  • The vote is now pushed to an unknown date in the future and May is heading off to Europe to meet with leaders who have said the deal on the table is the only option they’re willing to consider.

What's next: May's options aren't pretty, but there's a waterfall of potential outcomes if Parliament votes no, as the N.Y. Times sketches out...

  • The U.K. ask the EU for changes (the EU already said no to this)
  • May calls for a new referendum, or a new election
  • Parliament calls for a new referendum, or a new election
  • May loses power, via resignation or vote of no confidence
  • Hard Brexit (the U.K. leaves with no deal)
  • The U.K. chooses to remain in the EU

Between the lines, via Felix Salmon: The longer that Britain goes with no idea what’s going to happen on the final Brexit day, the more that fear and uncertainty will eat at the economy. Both the ruling Conservative party and the country as a whole are now effectively leaderless, at a time when effective leadership is of paramount importance.

The bottom line: These options aren't great unless you're clinging to hope for a hard Brexit or a U-turn to Remain, and it's hard to see the benefit for the Brits in delaying much longer.

Go deeper: Lawler will be diving into this mess in his newsletter, arriving in inboxes later tonight. (Sign up here)

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
2. What you missed
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  2. Google will accelerate the planned shutdown of Google+ after discovering a bug that made it possible for developers to access private information on millions of users. Go deeper.
  3. The Supreme Court won't hear a case involving funding for Planned Parenthood. Several lower courts have said individual Medicaid recipients can challenge their state governments' efforts to cut off Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding. Go deeper.
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  5. The Chinese government will decide this month whether to purchase 5 or 8 million tons of U.S. soybeans, Bloomberg reports.
3. 1 fearless thing
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A child stands next to the "Fearless Girl" after a ceremony to unveil the statue's new location across from the New York Stock Exchange. It has been moved from Bowling Green Park, where it stood across the iconic Charging Bull statue for over a year.