Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Inga Kjer/Photothek via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Theresa May won a snap general election last year while promising a "strong and stable" U.K. throughout the Brexit process, but the twin departures of Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson underline just how unstable things have become within her own government.

The big question: This is the biggest test May's premiership has faced. She's survived more than a few Brexit scrapes thus far — is this the one that brings her down?

How we got here: Over the weekend at Chequers, the prime minister's country estate, May and her Cabinet agreed on a plan that would see the U.K. maintain close economic ties with the EU in what would amount to a "soft" Brexit. This decision riled Brexiteers like Davis and Johnson, who want a harder break from Brussels.

  • May doubled down on the Chequers plan during a statement to the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, which took place just minutes after Johnson's resignation was announced.

The big picture: May will be forced to get her own party, a majority of the House of Commons, and the EU all on the same page in the nine months before Brexit is set to officially take place. That's no small task, considering her premiership buckled last month over concerns about the Irish border after Brexit — just one component among many in any eventual deal.

What's next: The most immediate danger to May right now would be a leadership challenge from the Brexiteer wing of the Conservative Party.

  • Be smart: There's no obvious candidate to stand against her. Johnson has long eyed the top job, but he may lack the support to make a run at it — an issue he faced back in 2016, just after the Brexit vote. It's hard to see other hardline Brexiteers, like the deeply socially conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg, uniting the party behind them.
  • Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said today that May's government should "get its act together and do it quickly. And if it can't, make way for those who can."

Go deeper

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

The norms around science and politics are cracking

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.