May 23, 2019

The end is near for Theresa May

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May appears, finally, to have reached the end of the road. A plan to resuscitate her Brexit deal was abandoned on Thursday. The London Times reports that she'll "announce a timetable for her departure tomorrow morning."

The bottom line: May came into office three years ago with a singular mission — to deliver Brexit. Anyone would have struggled to do so. She, quite clearly, failed.

  • May labored desperately to stitch together a party that nonetheless continued to fray. British politics are more polarized and gridlocked than at any time in recent memory.

Flashback: May replaced David Cameron in July 2016 after six years as Home Secretary and two decades in Parliament. She positioned herself as the “strong and stable” choice and triumphed after Boris Johnson unexpectedly pulled out of the race.

Timeline:

  • March 28, 2017: May invokes “Article 50,” giving the U.K. two years to finalize its withdrawal from the EU.
  • June 8, 2017: May’s decision to call a snap election to bolster the Conservative majority ahead of Brexit negotiations backfires spectacularly. She’s left with a minority government.
  • July 7, 2018: May puts forward a modified Brexit plan that includes the infamous “Irish backstop.” Hardline Brexiteers, including Johnson, revolt.
  • Nov. 13, 2018: May finalizes her withdrawal agreement with the EU.
  • Jan. 15, 2019: May’s deal fails in Parliament by the largest margin in modern history.

Since then, May has seen off attempts to oust her by the opposition and her own party, had her plan defeated by another massive margin, and been forced to delay the Brexit deadline twice — most recently to Oct. 31.

What’s next: Assuming May goes, Johnson is favored to replace her. That worries leaders across Europe, but might delight President Trump. He's set to visit the U.K. early next month.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to less than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,401,701 — Total deaths: 345,060 — Total recoveries — 2,149,407Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,643,238 — Total deaths: 97,720 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

President Trump doubled down on his push to reopen schools, tweeting late Sunday: "Schools in our country should be opened ASAP."

Zoom in: Trump pushed back on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci cautioning against the move earlier this month, calling his concerns "not an acceptable answer."