Welcome to Axios World, where two evenings a week we break down what you need to know about the big stories from around the globe.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Prime Minister Theresa May executed a political retreat of historic proportions today, admitting her Brexit deal “would be rejected by a significant margin” in the House of Commons if tomorrow’s vote went ahead.
The big picture: She scrapped the vote, but not before warning that if Parliament refuses to accept reality, and the need for compromise with the EU, it will soon be too late to get any deal at all.
May says she remains convinced there is a parliamentary majority for her deal if she can obtain “additional reassurances” from the EU over the so-called “backstop.”
Catch up quick ...
What's next? Peter Foster, the Daily Telegraph's Europe Editor, has spoken to a senior EU source who says Brussels will make some cosmetic changes to the legal language around the backstop. Then ...
"The longer Britain goes with no idea what’s going to happen on Brexit Day," Axios Chief Financial Correspondent Felix Salmon emails, "the more fear and uncertainty will eat at the economy."
The bottom line: That is one point on which May is, for the time being, standing firm. She said today that overturning the result of the referendum "risks dividing the country again." Imagine what that might feel like.
Representatives of 164 countries gathered in Morocco today to sign the first-ever global migration accord. The pact, which is not legally binding, calls for a more orderly and humane approach.
The big picture: Most people around the world simply do not want more immigrants coming into their countries, according to a new Pew report.
Across the 27 countries polled, support for increasing immigration ranges from just 2% in Greece and Hungary to 28% in Spain.
December in Pyongyang. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump is staying the course on North Korea despite the lack of any tangible progress toward denuclearization, canceling another round of military exercises with South Korea and moving ahead with plans for a second summit with Kim Jong-un in the new year.
Where things stand: Van Jackson, a former Pentagon strategist and author of the new book "On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War," contends there is a “close to 0% chance” of denuclearization while Trump is president, and the situation remains “as dangerous or more dangerous” than it was last year.
“You are not in a stable situation if you rely on the whims and the caprice of individual leaders to prevent nuclear war. Trump and Kim have personalized this nuclear confrontation in such a way that their personal chemistry holds all the rest of us hostage, because the underlying situation hasn’t changed.”
Three of Jackson's key arguments:
Go deeper: More from the interview.
Protesters clash with riot police at the Arc de Triomphe. Photo: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images
In a direct address to the people of France today, Emmanuel Macron promised a series of concessions in the face of the "yellow vest" protests, including a 100 euro-per-month raise for minimum wage workers and the a cancellation of a tax hike for low-income pensioners, Axios' Zach Basu writes.
Between the lines: It was a notable change in tone, but whether the concessions will be enough to satisfy the yellow vests — a decentralized movement whose only consistent message has been that Macron resign — remains to be seen.
Buying what Xi's selling (with Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa). Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images
With a wary eye on China, a deal was struck in Brussels last week for closer inspections of foreign investments in "strategic technologies and infrastructure such as ports or energy networks," per Reuters, which noted there was opposition from countries including Greece, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal.
The bottom line: Portugal is not alone in playing nice with Beijing. But these instances show that China, with the promise of big investments, can poke holes in European or Transatlantic efforts to confront it.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
For your reading pleasure ... a condensed version of an amazing anecdote from my colleagues Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene from Swan's Sneak Peek newsletter:
When Argentine President Mauricio Macri hosted Trump at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last week, Trump said he'd "been friends with Mauricio for a long time, many years."
Macri told a story everyone in the room found hilarious:
West Lake after snow in Hangzhou, China.
"Of course I don't regret calling the referendum. I made a promise in the election to call a referendum and I called the referendum. Obviously I'm very concerned about what's happening today."— David Cameron
Thanks for stopping by — see you Thursday evening!